PPP-led moot warns of rejecting digital census results

Our Correspondent
Saturday, Mar 18, 2023

KARACHI: A multi-party conference (MPC) convened by the Pakistan People’s Party on Friday resolved not to accept the results of the ongoing 7th digital census in the country if the reservations of Sindh were not addressed by the federal authorities.

Besides the leaders of PPP, the conference was also attended by the representatives of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F), Awami National Party, Sunni Tehreek, Jamaat-e-Islami, Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan, Awami Jamhoori Party, Awami Workers’ Party, Sindh Taraqi Pasand Party and others.

However, the two important stakeholders from Sindh – MQM-P and PTI did not attend the MPC called by the PPP.

PPP Sindh president Senator Nisar Ahmed Khuhro chaired the MPC on census while Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah briefed the participants about the ongoing census drive.

The MPC demanded that the duration of the census drive should be extended so that the enumerators could properly count the population of the province.

It demanded that federal government should remove all the loopholes pointed out by the concerned quarters in Sindh to ensure accurate counting of the Sindh’s population.

The MPC demanded that illegal immigrants settled in Sindh should be separately counted during the census drive, as they shouldn’t be mixed with the natives of the province during the enumeration exercise. Briefing media persons after the MPC, Nisar Khuhro said that enumerators were given very limited time for carrying out the housing and population census in Sindh, adding that enumerators spent over 35 minutes for counting the members of an household. Khuhro pointed out the computer tablets and software being used for the digital census were not working properly.

It seems elections are going to be held in the two provinces on the basis of the last census while polls in the rest of the country would be held on the basis of the outcome of the fresh census, highlighted Khuhro. He warned that such an exercise would create repercussions for the integrity of the country. Khuhro mentioned that the MPC had demanded that polls should be held all over the country at once after the completion of the new census drive. He mentioned that the previous federal government had decided to hold a fresh census in the country in view of the objections raised by Sindh to the last census in 2017. He said the Council of Common Interests owing to the reservations of Sindh had decided to conduct a new census in the country earlier than the stipulated time. He demanded that the population of Sindh should be accurately counted in the new census.