MQM-P rejects census results, demands access to PBS dashboard

Our Correspondent
Wednesday, Mar 29, 2023

Dr Farooq Sattar on Tuesday said the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) rejects the census results made available so far by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

The MQM-P’s senior deputy convener also demanded that the party and the public be provided access to the PBS dashboard so that everyone can verify if they have been counted. “As per our earlier concerns, the population of rural Sindh is being overstated in the census, while the population of urban Sindh, especially Karachi, is being reduced. It’s clear from this process that our concerns have been justified,” he said during a press conference.

Sattar said that this time the plan is to show the population of Karachi to be 200 million. He claimed the census is being rigged by the enumerators and government employees. He said that over 500 complaints against the census have been received from different city districts. If the population of Karachi were to be counted correctly, the next chief minister would be from the party that wins the election from the city, he added.

The MQM-P leader said that on the one hand the Pakistan Peoples Party had convened an all-party conference on the census by pretending to be a national party, while on the other, it is influencing the PBS data so that the population of interior Sindh can be shown as high as possible.

He demanded that if the provincial government can be provided access to the census data, all the people of the country should also be provided the same access to the PBS dashboard. He said people have been moving to Karachi from all across the country, yet the population of the city is growing slower than that of rural Sindh. This logic is beyond understanding and incomprehensible, he added.

“The MQM-P completely rejects the census being conducted by government employees under the supervision of the Sindh government,” said Sattar, adding that for the correct census results, services of the private sector should be employed in the areas from where the complaints are being received.

He said the census should be conducted again. The PBS should make the data of the dashboard public so that every individual can see on their mobile phone if they have been counted. He claimed that the enumerators skip four houses for every one house they visit. No one knows if the people’s data is being saved, he pointed out.

Sattar said that if the provincial government can be given access to the dashboard, other elected representatives and the public should have the right to access the data as well so that they can see if they have been counted.

If the census is not transparent, how can the upcoming elections be called transparent and how can constituencies be fixed, he asked. Today we are sending all our complaints to the PBS, the Pakistan Army and the judiciary because the census is a matter of our future and survival, he concluded.