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JI insists 15 million citizens remain uncounted in Karachi census

JI insists 15 million citizens remain uncounted in Karachi census

KARACHI: The Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) on Thursday claimed that some 15 million Karachiites remained uncounted in the enumeration process, warning that the “fraud” in the name of digital census will not be accepted and the party will approach judiciary against the “flawed exercise”.

Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters, Idara Noor-i-Haq, the JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman alleged that the authorities removed the data of the 2017 census from the website in order to conceal their misdeeds.

“We had made it clear in the Islamabad meeting that we don’t want mere extensions [in deadlines]. The basic demand is to count Karachiites in full,” he said. “The authorities had also assured us that they were extending the cut off date for the census exercise to ensure that each and every person is covered. However, the government failed to keep the promise and, instead compromised with the PPP to protect the latter’s interests,” he alleged.

He referred to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics data which suggested that some 38,000 high-rise buildings in the city were not covered during the census and, in some cases, only the names of the heads of families living on the first few floors were registered, whereas even the houses on the rest of floors were not counted.

“Jamaat-i-Islami has conducted a survey on this issue in several areas of the city and compiled a detailed report, highlighting each and every block, street and town in different neighbourhoods which remained uncounted during the census. We even shared that data with the authorities concerned but to no avail,” said the JI chief.

Hafiz Naeem claims many houses on upper storeys in high-rises have not been enumerated

He pointed out that the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) data showed that 19.1 million people were permanent residents of the city, whereas millions others were living in the city as non-permanent residents.

“And those whose data is not available with Nadra are not included in these figures,” he added. “It’s a question mark on the authenticity of the census data. But unfortunately, despite all these flaws, some political parties have bargained the rights of Karachi and Karachiites against positions, ministries and perks. Any such deal and those who made it will be exposed,” he said.

Published in Dawn, May 26th, 2023

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