The Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) has announced a protest rally on Sunday, January 10, against the federal cabinet’s approval of the ‘controversial’ 2017 census results.
PSP Chairman Syed Mustafa Kamal made the announcement at a press conference on Sunday at the Pakistan House, saying that Karachi, the economic lifeline and home to all sub-nationalities of the country, was being subjugated to a worst animosity by the governments both in the province and the federation.
The scheduled protest march would start on Sharea Faisal at Nursery and end at the Karachi Press Club.
Kamal said the census results suggested that the population of Lahore had increased; whereas, the population of Karachi had reduced despite the rapid migration from all the parts of the country to the city.
He added that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) with its seven seats in the National Assembly could have stopped the federal government from making the unjust and cruel decision of the census approval but it did not. “The MQM-P allied with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in stabbing in the back of Karachiites by approving the federal cabinet’s unilateral decision.”
Kamal warned that the rally on Sunday would be the first phase of the PSP-led protests. “It is not acceptable for us to let the tyrant rulers rob the rights of this city,” he said. “We will go to any extent to ensure a correct recount of the census.”
The PSP chief said a false propaganda was spread against the PSP terming it a dry clean party. He added that now the MQM-P leaders were in fact getting dry cleaned in exchange for extending illegitimate support to the federal government.
He maintained that the chief justice of Pakistan had himself said on record that the population of Karachi was around 30 million. He asked if the 2018 general elections could be held on the basis of the earlier census results, why the local bodies elections could not be held on that basis.
“We do not think that the local bodies elections will be held any sooner. Unfortunately, all the self-proclaimed democratic parties have never held local bodies elections,” Kamal remarked. He added that the results of the census could not be finalised without a 5 per cent audit of the census.
“People from all schools of thought and walks of life living in Karachi should join the PSP protest along with their loved ones and relatives. This is not the time to just talk and condemn,” he said.
“I have been the mayor of Karachi and therefore I am aware of the need for water, health, education, and transport,” Kamal said, adding that civic amenities have to be provided on the basis of accurate census results.
The federal government has abolished the local government system in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the constitution says that the first tier of democracy is the local government system, the PSP chief said. PSP President Anis Kaimkhani and other central leaders were also present on this occasion.