Pakistan: Jamaat-e-Islami to hold protest over underreporting of Karachi’s population in census

The Jamaat-e-Islami has announced that it will hold a protest outside the Governor’s house in Karachi against what it has described as a “conspiracy” to underreport the metropolis’ population in the upcoming census, Pakistan Today reported.
Hafiz Naeem ur-Rehman, president of the Karachi wing of the party, and Idara Noor-e-Haq, another leader of the party, have raised concerns about the census process. They demanded that every person living in Karachi should be counted as a resident of the city. The Jamaat leader said that Karachi should have representation in the provincial and national assemblies on the basis of its actual population, as per the Pakistan Today report.
He slammed the ruling Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government for not playing their due role with regard to the actual counting of Karachi’s population.
The Jamaat leader slammed the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) over their dual standards when it comes to the rights of Karachi, as per the news report.
Hafiz Naeem ur-Rehman said that the PPP was afraid of the consensus in Karachi as it would result in the chief minister being from the mega city and would shake the feudalism that provides bases for the rule of the PPP in interior parts of the province, Pakistan Today reported.
He called for transparency in the process of the consensus and a mechanism to check the registration of people and statistics on the block code level.
Earlier, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s Rabita (MQM-P) Coordination Committee expressed its grave concerns over the process Pakistan’s first digital census is being carried out, saying that if any errors in the statistics are found then the party would hold its own census, reported The Express Tribune.
The party claimed further that its reservations over the ongoing exercise of the 7th Population and Housing Census in the country were coming true, as per the news report. In February, the party had written to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) chairman, saying that allocating only three days for conducting the census in the densely-populated Karachi was not enough.
The letter stated that at least 10 days should be set aside for household head counts. It added that the number of days should be increased for the three phases of national household and digital censuses.
The party had also warned that any count of Karachi’s population below 40 million would not be acceptable to it, according to The Express Tribune report. Sources said the MQM-P had conveyed its reservations over the census to the premier as well as the chief commissioner of the exercise, the PBS chairman, The Express Tribune reported.
According to the latest PBS figures, the census of 23.6 million houses had been completed by Sunday across the country. It added that it had finished the counting of 140 million people. The PBS said overall, 61 per cent of the census had been completed, as per the news report. It continued that the entire exercise in the country would be achieved by its scheduled time of April 4.

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