KARACHI             -           The Sindh Assembly Tuesday demanded the federal government to conduct census audit of five percent areas of the country as decided in the Council of Common Interest meeting presided over by then Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in 2018.

A joint resolution was moved by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan Parliamentary Leader Kanwar Naveed Jameel and Javed Hanif, Ghanwer Ali Khan Isran of Pakistan People’s Party and Nusrat Sehar Abbasi of Grand Democratic Alliance that reads, “This Assembly resolves and recommends to the Government of Sindh to approach the Federal government to conduct third party audit of census on experimental basis, five per cent areas to judge the fairness of the result as decided by the major parties including PPPP, MQMP, PML-N, PTI and other political parties present in the parliament and showed reservations on the results of Census 2017.”

Speaking on the resolution, Information Minister Saeed Ghani said that his party had expressed its reservations right after the preliminary results and raised this issue in the parliament. He said inter-provincial migration was reported in Sindh more than any other province yet its population was underreported.

“In the census 1998, Lahore’s population was reported around 50.1 million and in the recent census it jumped to 110 million that almost doubled the city’s population. Whereas the population of Karachi was reported about 90.3 million in census 1998 was and in the recent census it was shown around 160 million,” he added.

Ghani was of the view that Sindh population was underreported in each census, adding that this was not a mistake but was done ‘intentionally’. He also asked the MQM-P to take up this matter with its coalition partner in the centre and assured the latter Sindh government’s full cooperation in this regard.

The MQM-P Parliamentary Leader Kanwar Naveed Jameel said that after the census results, every political party agreed on conducting of five per cent audit in the country. He asked the Sindh government to approach the Centre for implementation on the agreement.

“When statistics given in the census are not accurate, how would the issues be resolved as resources are divided on the basis of population,” Kanwer asked. He was of the view that his party had raised the issue at every possible forum including the Parliament and the apex court, adding that a point relating to census issue was at the top of the memorandum of understanding signed between them and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf ahead of the federal government’s formation.

Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan also supported the resolution as its Parliamentary Leader Mufti Muhammad Qasim Fakhri said that flawed census was the root cause of every issue as the resources are divided on population basis. He was of the view that Karachi’s population was around 25 million but it was reported only 16 million in census 2017.

The GDA’s Nusrat Sehar Abbasi urged that a copy of the resolution should be forwarded to concerned department at the earliest for its timely implementation.

Later, the resolution was adopted unanimously.

‘Gul Sama was not stoned to death’

Separately speaking on the alleged case of a girl Gul Sama’s Sangsar (stoned to death) in Shahi Makan area near Wahi Pandhi town of Dadu district, Sindh Minister for Information Saeed Ghani said that a preliminary report was received and according to which no such incident ever happened.

“According to the preliminary post-mortem and the report of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, no such incident ever happened as no mark of injuries caused by stones was found on the body. The girl died after suffering multiple fractures caused by some heavy, hard and blunt object,” he added.

He also expressed deep disappointment over the way media ‘criticised’ many respectable members of the Sindh Assembly without knowing the facts.

‘CM orders action on girl’s abduction from Karachi’

Ghani said that a girl Dua Mangi who was reportedly kidnapped from Karachi’s posh area some days ago reached her home safely. He said that Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah ordered that the persons involved in the incident should be exposed and punished in accordance with the law.

He said that a boy who was injured in the kidnapping case of Dua was still under treatment at a private hospital and the provincial government was looking after him right from day one of the incident.