FATA residents reject census results, term them biased, irrational


ISLAMABAD: The recently-released statistics by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics pertaining to the population of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) have shocked the people in the long-deprived war-ravaged areas.

They termed the statistics unrealistic and biased and vowed that the census results would not be accepted.

Talking to Pakistan Today, Senator Sajjad Hussain Turi said that they rejected the census report in totality because they had strong reservations about the results of the report. He also said that the issue would be taken up on the floor of the house after Eidul Azha. He also said that they would not rest until justice had been done.

Turi said that he had already written to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and informed him about the people’s reservations regarding the modus operandi of the census.

Since resource distribution is based on population; it would also be of concern to the NFC and budget, he added.

According to the provisional figures of the 2017 census, FATA is home to a population of roughly 5 million, as compared to 3.2 million of the 1998 census; hence showing just a slight increase in the overall population, which is contrary to the ground reality, according to the senator.

According to the census results, Bajaur Agency is the most populated tribal agency with around 1 million residents, as compared to 595,227 in 1998; Khyber Agency stood second with 986,973 residents, as compared to 546,730 people in 1998.

Similarly, the population of Kurram Agency rose 619,553 from 448,310, South Waziristan to 679,185 from 429,841, North Waziristan to 543,254 from 361,246, while Orakzai Agency ranks last in the seven tribal agencies with 254,356 residents compared to 225,441.