KARACHI - Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Sindh General Secretary (GS) Waqar Mehdi has said that the recently conducted census is completely a controversial exercise.

“Just like what it did in 1998, the Census Bureau has done what it could to deprive Sindh of its due rights and share in the country’s resources by showing a surprising reduction in population of the province,” he said, and added, “People of Sindh will never accept this highly engineered census, which is only meant to keep the people of Sindh deprived of their due rights.”

He accused the Census Bureau of showing reduced population of Sindh deliberately in order to ensure that people of the province could not get their due share from the divisible pool. Mehdi reminded that PPP had expressed serious concern over what he called the tactical manoeuvring of data at the time when the census was underway and had termed the entire process lacking transparency and flawed.

“However, as usual the federal government ignored our concerns, which was nothing but federal government’s bias against people of Sindh,” he alleged.

PPP leader lamented that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) government had in the past four years took steps that widened the gulf between the federating units and people of smaller provinces developed an acute sense of insecurity and deprivation.

He was of the view that situation could be prevented from going bad to worse only if the federal government behaved sanely and took appropriate measures for allaying the concerns of people.

Mehdi warned the federal government in clear-cut terms that PPP would not allow the latter to usurp the rights of people of Sindh and would raise its voice and protest at all available forums.

“The party is to convene an All Parties Conference shortly for which preparations have started so that a unanimous declaration could be made on the engineered census,” he informed.

Pasban for addressing

concerns regarding census

Pasban-e-Pakistan President Altaf Shakoor said here on Wednesday that the genuine concerns of Karachiites with respect to the interim results of census should be addressed; otherwise, anti-Pakistan elements would exploit this issue.

In a statement issued here, he said that objections were being raised to the census figures by every political party.

He said it was a general feeling that some dishonest elements may have tampered the results at some stage so that the mega city, Karachi, may not get its due share from the national resources.

He said people of Karachi felt that figures of their city’s population were against the ground realities.

Altaf said that Pakistan has already been facing many crises, and it could ill afford yet another political turmoil in the shape of agitation against the census. He warned that if such a situation developed, this would benefit the anti-Pakistan elements only. Completely rejecting the interim census results, Pasban president demanded that exercise be carried out in Karachi afresh. He also called for devising a proper mechanism so that the census results were foolproof.

He said it was apprehended that some clerical staff, having political leanings, might have tampered the results. “The security officials, escorting census teams, only provided them a security cover and nothing more,” he opined. He also demanded that an all parties’ conference be held to develop a consensus on this issue and to also agree on a foolproof mechanism for obtaining exact data. Altaf said that Karachi is not only the city of Urdu speaking people, but people speaking other languages also lived here. He advised that that step-motherly attitude towards Karachi be avoided. Pasban president also demanded that the upcoming general elections should be held in the light of new voter lists and new constituencies after a flawless census.

He said if the general elections were held in the light of old census, this would amount to be a fraud.

He said if there are some legal issues they could be resolved.

He said if a person like Moin Qureshi who did not even had a Pakistani national identity card could be made a prime minister, why these matters could not be resolved amicably.