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Murad warns of census boycott if Sindh’s concerns not addressed

Murad warns of census boycott if Sindh’s concerns not addressed

• Over 8,000 provincial employees working with PBS as enumerators
• Says PPP candidate will easily be elected as mayor of Karachi

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Sunday warned that the provincial government would have no option but to withdraw the support it extended to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) for conducting the ongoing 7th Digital Housing and Population Census if the province’s reservations on the census process were not addressed.

As many as 8,010 provincial government employees, mainly from the education department, have been deputed as enumerators and supervisors to collect population data after being trained by the PBS. Besides, the enumerators, the provincial government has also assigned a large number of policemen for the security of the census staff.

Talking to the media at an event organised by the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation as part of Karachi Games, he said that the objections the provincial government and the Pakistan Peoples Party had raised during the census of 2017 had proved to be valid and genuine now.

“If a transparent system is not evolved or adopted the ongoing census exercises would meet the same fate as of 2017,” he observed.

He said that if the reservations raised by the people of the province were not addressed his government would withdraw the support it had extended to the federal government for the ongoing census process.

He said that he had asked census authorities to share a copy of the data/enumeration of a family with the family members concerned. “We must know how many members of a family in a particular area have been counted so that a claim can be filed in case of any inaccuracy,” he said, adding that the provincial government must have access to the data of the province.

He said that the data being collected by the PBS should be given directly to the National Database and Registration Authority so that they could issue CNIC/B-Forms to the people and also make data of foreigners and illegal immigrants living here.

Talking about the importance of a proper system of birth and death counts, he said: “When a child is born or dies his/her details must enter into the family tree made in the national data developed at Nadra.”

He said currently the deaths and births were not recorded in the national data until and unless the family concerned get it recorded.

The CM said that the old or inaccurate maps had been uploaded to the tablets given to enumerators for feeding data digitally. “These maps and data must be accurate, proper, and latest,” he demanded.

He also demanded that the PBS inform families/persons through SMS that they were counted.

Rejects JI’s allegations

The chief minister said that the PPP, which emerged as the single largest party in the local government elections in Karachi, would take over the coveted office of Karachi mayor.

Replying to a question, he said that it was loud and clear that PPP would get its candidate elected as the mayor of Karachi. “We are the majority party and our candidate for mayor will easily be elected by the City Council,” he said.

Giving an oblique reference to the allegations levelled by Jamaat-i-Islami’s candidate Hafiz Naeemur Rehman on the ruling party, the chief minister said that his “cries, claims, and allegations” had no foundation.

He urged the Election Commission of Pakistan to expedite the process of conducting the election on the remaining local government seats and declare the withheld results so that the final round of election for the offices of district chairmen and mayors could be finalised.

Earlier, the CM congratulated the winners of the donkey cart race and distributed prizes among them.

Sindh Governor Kamran Khan Tessori, Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon, CM’s Law Advisor Barrister Murtaza Wahab and others were also present.

Published in Dawn, March 13th, 2023

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