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Wednesday, October 5, 2022
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‘Constituencies can’t be demarcated based on faulty population data’

PPP Senator Taj says Sindh must demand immediate CCI meeting on single point agenda of using agreed method of counting

Senator Taj Haider, in charge of the PPP Central Election Cell, while commenting on the National Assembly and Punjab Assembly constituencies announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), has said that delimitation of constituencies could not be done on the basis of faulty and controversial population figures.

In a press statement issued here on Saturday, Senator Taj said that the Council of Common Interests (CCI) had accepted that the figures obtained in Census 2017 were incorrect and while validating the provisional figures in spite of Sindh’s dissenting vote, had ordered a fresh census, which was to be concluded before December 31. It is ironic that the controversial part of the CCI decision was being followed and the agreed part of conducting a fresh census is being ignored on various excuses, he added. “Such unfair tactics remain unwise and counter-productive. As we have seen these give rise to many more short-term and long-term problems and divisive controversies,” he said.

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The smart guys of the Federal Statistical Bureau started with making an advisory group which did not include any demographer from Sindh, he said. Next they came up with a clever working paper in which the faulty de-jure counting method, which was the reason for rejecting Census 2017, was repeated, he added. Various definitions and interpretations of this faulty method are now being given which further complicate the issue, he maintained.

“Is there a single reason why the universal de-facto method of counting population, which was agreed upon by all political parties in an agreement signed before the passing of the 24th Amendment, cannot be used?” he questioned. This method counts citizens at the place where they were present on the day of the count and does not miss a single person, he said. How the bureau can explain the difference and the undercount of almost 30pc in their population figures and the population figures of NADRA in the province of Sindh, he asked. “What makes them think that they can get away with this trickery? They should realise that this time around the protest is before the count and no one is waiting for the release of incorrect figures and undercounts,” he added.

Senator Taj informed that in the recent meeting presided over by the chief minister Sindh, in which the Bureau of Statistics was present, Dr. Mehtab Karim, an internationally recognised demographer, from Sindh had introduced a simple census questionnaire form based on forms used internationally. This questionnaire contained only nine questions instead of the 28 questions included in the form designed by the bureau.

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Senator Haider said that the time for concrete action could not be further delayed. “Sindh should demand an immediate CCI meeting on the single point agenda of using the agreed de-facto method of counting in the pilot project scheduled to be conducted by the Bureau of Statistics in order to ensure that the fresh census ordered by the CCI will be a true reflection of the actual population.”



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