PESHAWAR - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader from Khyber Agency Iqbal Afridi rejected results of the current population census, claiming that the process was not conducted transparently in the tribal areas. Afridi alleged while speaking at a news conference in Peshawar Press Club on Wednesday that Fata population was shown lesser than actual, which, he said, meant to keep the tribal people deprived of their due share in National Finance Commission (NFC) Award and other development schemes. PTI Bajaur General Secretary Saeed Ahmad and other party office bearers were also present on the occasion.

The incumbent federal government, he said, did not fulfil the demand of tribal people for allocation of separate column in census form for the Temporarily Displaced People (TDPs) of Fata residing in different parts of the country. He added that due to displacement, a large number of Fata people were missed during the census process. Afridi said the tribal people had already been deprived of their fundamental rights in the presence of draconian Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) law, adding that census results would further augment the sense of deprivation among the people of Fata. He also alleged that the tribal people were deliberately being kept backward in all fields.

He out rightly rejected results of the population census and stressed the federal government and Pakistan Bureau of Statistics to re-conduct the process in tribal region.

Jan claimed that population of Bajaur Agency was around 1.2 million in the national census held in 1998, but the figure was brought down to 0.8 million in the sixth census, showing a decrease of 0.4 million population in the agency. He further said that population would reach to 1.6 to 2 million if the displaced people of the agency residing in different parts of the country were counted.

He termed it a conspiracy against the tribal people to deprive them of their due share in the NFC and other national resources and development projects. He demanded re-conducting the census process to include the TDPs as well. He urged Fata parliamentarians to raise the issue on the floor of the Parliament. He warned to hold a protest sit-in outside Governor House Peshawar if their demand was not accepted.