PM Shehbaz directs redressal of MQM-P reservations over census

MQM-P leader Farooq Sattar had rejected ongoing first-ever digital census conducted by Sindh govt staff

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Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif meets the MQM-P delegation at the PM House in Islamabad on March 29, 2023. — APP
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif meets the MQM-P delegation at the PM House in Islamabad on March 29, 2023. — APP 

  • Party shares concerns about ongoing census.
  • It also informs premier about Karachi's issues.
  • MQM-P has demanded fresh, impartial census.


Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Wednesday issued directives to relevant authorities to resolve the concerns and issues of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) over the ongoing census.

In a statement released by the PM Office, the development came during a meeting between the premier and MQM-P delegation — comprising Convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and Information Technology and Telecommunication Minister Syed Aminul Haque — while Minister for Economic Affairs Sardar Ayaz Sadiq was also present.

During the meeting, the MQM-P delegation congratulated the prime minister for the legislation of the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill, 2023, the statement read.

The delegation shared their reservations with the prime minister regarding the ongoing digital census in Pakistan and also informed him about the issues in Karachi.

A day earlier, MQM-P senior leader Farooq Sattar rejected the ongoing first-ever digital census — which is the seventh national census in the country — being conducted by the Sindh government employees.

The party's decision came days after Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) chief statistician Dr Naeem Uz Zafar said that "it is not necessary that Karachi's population will show as 30 million" after the census.

Sattar expressed fears that a plan has been devised to show less population than the actual headcount of Sindh's urban areas.

“46% of the population in Karachi has been counted,” he said, adding that it seemed that the total population of the metropolis would be shown around 20 million in the census.

The MQM-P leader also demanded a fresh census conducted by an impartial and private sector company. He also asked for access to the census data.

According to PBS chief statistician, about 60% of Pakistan has been enumerated in the ongoing country’s seventh population and house count.

This is the first time the country's population is being counted digitally. The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and MQM-P have time and again raised concerns over the population count in the port city.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, a part of the incumbent government himself, had threatened to quit the ruling alliance and said that Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah had grave concerns over the ongoing census.