Half of Karachi’s population not counted in census: MQM-P

  • Sattar rejects census, says ‘our representation has been halved; soon our water and other facilities will also be halved’

  • Warns if their demands not met, they will call for resources, seats on basis of revenue generated in Karachi

KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) chief Farooq Sattar said on Sunday that almost half of Karachi’s population has not been counted in the census process, adding, “This is not headcount; rather omission of headcount”.

Addressing a party rally against provisional census results at Liaquatabad flyover, he said in the provisional results of the census, the population of Karachi has been halved, complaining “soon our water and other basic facilities will also be halved.”

As a result of the wrong results, he said, “Our representation has been halved.”

Calling it “rigged”, he said they reject the census.

The census results have placed the population of Karachi at around 15 million people, however, the “figure of 15 million only depicts the female population of the city,” he added.

Through the rigged results of the census, names of eight million MQM voters have been erased, he alleged.

Even the persons with disabilities have not been counted in the census, he said, while demanding the census process be conducted again.

“We want to be treated justly,” he said, adding his party is a force to be reckoned with.

He also claimed that the current MQM-Pakistan will be turned into the MQM of 1986.

If justice is not dispensed, he said, “We will expand our protest to every street and lane.”

He also warned that if their demands regarding census were not met, they will demand resources and seats on the basis of revenue generated in Karachi.

Talking about the party leaders and workers who have switched their loyalties, Sattar said that all of them along with several others will rejoin MQM if the party was provided with a level playing field.

“We will vote for the bill on delimitations if we are guaranteed the safety of our rights,” he said after expressing his reservations that the results of the census will also affect delimitations.

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader in Sindh Assembly Khawaja Izhar-ul-Hassan dismissed the idea that there is a rift between members of MQM-Pakistan, saying there were no groups in the party.

“Our enemies are obsessed with seeing how many people left our party; however, they should come and see who people actually support,” he said.

“Wickets are lost in a match with 11 players. Our team comprises more than 11 people, nation supports us,” Izhar-ul-Hassan said, adding people who are trying to destabilise the party should know that their efforts will bear no fruits.

If you take to take wickets then focus on Pakistan People’s Party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf or Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, he claimed.

Like MQM-P chief, Faisal Sabzwari spoke in a similar manner against the provisional results of the census, saying the population of Karachi has been miscounted.

“Karachi is being harmed and everyone is sleeping,” he added.

The enemies of MQM have become the enemies of Karachi, he remarked.

“PPP is least bothered about Karachi; they consider Karachi a place to be plundered,” he added.

Earlier, Sattar went to Jama Cloth Market to distribute the invitations for the rally, where he said 500 union committees would be formed once the census results are corrected.

The opposition leader in Sindh Assembly, Khawaja Izhar-ul-Hassan, along with Kanwar Naveed, invited people from different areas of the central district to the rally.

The party leaders, including Rauf Siddiqui and Kamran Tessori, also visited the rally site to examine preparations.

During his visit, Naveed spoke to the media, saying it was unfair to undercount the population of Karachi in the latest census.

The announcement for the protest was made by MQM-P chief, according to whom the census was rigged to reduce employment opportunities for the people of Sindh.

He had said that Karachi’s population in actual is around 30 million, whereas according to the census it is 10.6 million.