Sun, 04 Jun 2023

Karachi [Pakistan], March 28 (ANI): 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 and said that if any errors in the statistics are found then the party would hold its own census, reported The Express Tribune.

Pakistan's first-ever digital population and housing census, which was rolled out on 1 March, promises to be transparent.

The party expressed its grave concerns over the process of the country's first digital census, observing that its reservations over the ongoing exercise of 7th Population and Housing Census in the country were coming true.

According to sources, quoted by The Express Tribune, The MQM-P's Rabita Committee met under the chairmanship of the party's convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui to discuss a variety of topics, including the political climate of the nation, the census, and local government by-elections.

It was noted that the census team had missed multiple locations.

The attendees of the meeting further asserted that several places have listed many residents of the same building as a single individual.

They added that in their meeting with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, they were assured that this issue would be addressed.

Earlier this month, on the MQM-P's demand, the prime minister had ordered to extend the census from three to 10 days and to mark each flat instead of the main entrance of multi-storied buildings.

In February, the party had written a letter 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 had read that at least 10 days should be set aside for household head counts.

It had 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 population below 40 million would not be acceptable to it.

The 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.

They added that the party had given a clear message to the federation that it would not back down from its stance on the census and repeated that it was its red line.

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% of the census had been completed.

It continued that the entire exercise in the country would be achieved by its scheduled time of April 4.

In the MQM-P meeting, most members of the committee supported the participation in the by-elections for local government seats, observing that party's position in connection with the delimitation of constituencies had been proven to be correct,The Express Tribune reported.

They noted that the MQM-P had won its case with the addition of 53 union councils and it should participate in the polls now.

The sources said a decision in this connection would be made in the coming days.

Earlier this month, the Sindh local government and housing town planning department had announced the addition of 53 new union councils to the Karachi division -- meeting a longstanding demand of the MQM-P.

After the addition, the number of union councils in the city has increased from 246 to 299.

However, the new union councils would become functional after the next local government elections.

This means the next mayor of Karachi would be elected by the representatives of the 246 union councils in the city, The Express Tribune reported. (ANI)

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