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Census 2017: People of Sindh have no option but to take to streets, says MQM-P chief

MQM leader Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui speaking during a press conference. Photo:

ISLAMABAD: MQM-P leader Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui on Thursday said that the people of Sindh are left with no other option but to take to the streets to protest the Centre’s decision to approve the controversial census of 2017.

He was addressing a press conference in Islamabad during which he maintained that the population of Sindh’s major cities was shown to be 25% less than the actual count in the census, adding that the report is riddled with inaccuracies.

“Our doubts related to the inaccuracy of the 2017 census have proven to be true now,” he said. “We had gone to courts to register our concerns even before the census had begun.”

Siddiqui’s comments came after the federal cabinet on Wednesday authorised the submission of the Sixth Population and Housing Census 2017 report for the final approval of the Council of Common Interests.

Cabinet’s also decided to bypass an agreement with the parliamentary leaders of the Senate to correct the highly controversial census 2017 results through a recount of the population in 5% randomly selected population blocks.

“We had formed a coalition with the government on the basis of the census,” Siddiqui said. “Despite MQM’s reservations against the results of the census, the federal government went ahead and approved it.”

Siddiqui added that the Centre’s decision has made the people of Sindh’s urban areas very upset, adding that he fears the move might push people to disassociate themselves from the politics of this country.

“If they cannot count us correctly, how would they give us our rights?” he questioned, adding that in Karachi, people younger than the age of 18 were not even counted.

“We demand the govt form a judicial commission to probe the rigged census,” he said. “Right now, we are standing with the government, but we also have the option to part ways because we cannot protest against the government while staying in a coalition with it.”

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