A psychological onslaught has been unleashed by the reminiscent of MQM factor through a tall claim of population shift from the current Sindhi dominant province to an Urdu speaking majority province after as the outcome of census. Today I was reading a statement from the renowned economist, Mr Qaisar Begali, that Sindh’s capital, Karachi, is going to be Pakhtun dominated city by 2040. In all these tall claims, the voiceless segment is none other than indigenous people of the province, the few millions of Sindhis who have located Sindh’s capital as their permanent abode in recent decades. If anyone with impartial approach and unbiased mind set goes around the province he can vividly observe the growth of Sindhi population at mass scale. There are many contributing factors in an unusual increase in the population of Sindhis for Sindhis are not traditionally inclined to migrate out of their localities and now from the province, as lately, they have made the province’s capital as their ultimate destination for economic reasons. 

Secondly, Sindhis are prone to early marriages, this is certainly a greater contributor in population growth and coupled with illiteracy, becomes the main cause for giving unchecked child birth. Thirdly, even educated Sindhis still believe in large families. This unusual increase in their population has brought economic problems for them and this has forced them for the first time in their history to head to Sindh’s capital city Karachi where they now living in not less than a few millions. Every commercial and non-commercial locality is having tens of Sindhis working now a days, while it was almost a rare phenomenon between 1947 to late 70s. In today’s Karachi, one can see that Sindhis are working as waiters in five star hotels, sales w/man in departmental stores; technicians for different trades; cabin holders; rickshaw and taxi drivers, as shopkeepers for smaller shops to a moderate businessman and as industrialists or real-estate agents. One can see the Sindhis working in every field in the city. This has added to their population tremendously in the Karachi whereas one can also see country side of every town and city of the rest of the province with significant populace. 

On the other hand other communities including our Urdu speaking brothers tend to migrate abroad to live there permanently. In many cases, they earn money with extra labour in their homeland, only to get permanent residence abroad. Besides, they are not traditionally tended to early marriages; their marriages hardly take effect between the age of 30-35 and in many cases even after 35 years of age. The late marriages coupled with adopting family planning measures are conspicuous reasons of population control and even population decrease among them. The third majority group of Sindh viz Punjabis, who are called as settlers in the interior of province, have almost the same tendencies as that of Urdu-speaking people. Most of the Punjabi speaking people have merged either with Sindhis or Urdu-speaking people in the interior and many families among them have also left the Sindh’s capital either to settle abroad or to find livelihood opportunities afresh in their province of origin. The Pakhtuns who were shown as 11% of Karachi’s total population in year 2012 are finding more foot-holds in the city but they normally do not have any political ambitions in the city or province; they are seen as more indulging in their livelihood pursuits instead of in any race to control the administrative machinery of the province or its capital. 

These factors give an edge to Sindhi population which has grown at a faster scale both in the interior of the province as well as in its capital city Karachi. With an honest and a real head count in the ongoing census, Sindhis will emerge as rather more populated people than they were in the previous censuses. With their significant presence in the capital city in the recent times, the country can see demographic changes in the population of Karachi as a result of census-2017. 

ABDUL SAMAD CHANNA,  

Karachi, April 12.