The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) has expressed its dissatisfaction with the digital census results and issued a warning of potential protests if the true population count of Karachi is not reflected in the final results. During a press conference held at the party’s temporary headquarters in Bahadurabad, MQM-P leaders criticized the flawed mechanism used by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics and called for attention to the ongoing “exploitation of urban Sindh.”
Syed Mustafa Kamal, a senior party leader, presented data that highlighted the discrepancies in the census design. He pointed out that Karachi, being the largest and most diverse city in the country, showed significantly slower population growth compared to rural districts in the province. Kamal cited examples of blocks in other cities, such as Larkana and Shaheed Benazirabad, having more houses than in Karachi, emphasizing the absurdity of such findings.
MQM-P leaders claimed that the census failed to count over 800,000 households in Karachi and thousands in Hyderabad, a documented fact. They also highlighted the significant disparity in the growth rates of household structures, with Larkana experiencing a 31% increase, Karachi only 13%, and Hyderabad a mere 5% over the past five years.
Kamal clarified that their intention is not to discriminate or promote hatred but rather to demand an accurate and fair population count. The party has been raising concerns through parliamentary channels, appealing to those in power, and utilizing the media to amplify their voice. However, their efforts have thus far been in vain, with no response from the authorities.
Farooq Sattar, another MQM-P leader, accused the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) of orchestrating the flawed census, alleging that since 1972, the ruling party in Sindh has obstructed a fair census for urban Sindh. Sattar criticized the ill intentions behind the census mechanism, which has created more controversies than solutions.
MQM-P firmly stated that the population of Karachi is significantly higher than what the census portrays. They emphasized that any attempt to undermine the city’s actual population would be unacceptable to the party. They believe that every resident who lives and contributes to the city’s growth must be accurately counted.
MQM-P’s rejection of the digital census results and their threat of protests reflect their concerns regarding the underrepresentation of Karachi’s population. The party seeks a fair and unbiased population count that reflects the city’s true demographics.