Admitting that the results of 2017 population census in Karachi were a âgenuine problemâ, Opposition Leader in Sindh Assembly Firdous Shamim Naqvi has said that an attempt is being made to make the census issue controversial.
Naqvi, who is a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insafâs key leader, said on Monday that Karachi was the only city where people from all over the country came and lived. âBut they register their votes in their hometowns or cities. It also caused issues in the census,â he said while addressing a press conference at the Insaf House where prominent actor Farhan Ali Agha on the occasion announced he was joining the PTI.
PTI Karachi MPAs Khurram Sherzaman, Dr Imran Ali Shah, Shehzad Qureshi, Dr Sanjay Gangwani and others were also present at the presser. Discussing the flaws in the last census, Naqvi said the last census did not specify the number of refugee communities, such as Afghans, Bengalis and Burmese in the city. âWhy doesnât the Sindh government stand up to count the refugee communities in the census? Arenât these people taking advantage of transport, hospital, water and sewerage facilities in the city?â
He said the 2018 general elections were also held as per the 2017 census and the constituencies were redesigned according to the same census. âBut everyone took part in that elections and they are now objecting to its results.â
Naqvi said the PTI had come up with the best solution to the challenge of recognising the 2017 census and conduct the next census as soon as possible, but not to delay the local bodies elections because of it. âHolding the local bodies elections is mandatory under Article 140A of the constitution. The status of local bodies representatives is more than that of the MPA for the general public as all the basic issues of the streets are solved by the councillors and the union committee chairmen and vice chairmen,â he said. âIf 10 more problems are raised to solve one problem, it does not solve the problem.â
He also criticised the Pakistan People Party-led Sindh government for delaying the local government elections under the pretext of fears of the coronavirus spread. âWe warn them that if they do not introduce a new law on local governments within a month, the PTI will take to the streets,â he said.
Commenting on the Karachi Transformation Plan, Naqvi said that the PTI had requested Prime Minister Imran Khan to set aside one day for Karachi and monitor for himself how much work had been done on each project. âKarachi is the backbone of the countryâs economy and the path to development. Pakistanâs development is not possible without its development,â he said.
He also criticised Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah for holding rallies amid the surge of coronavirus infection cases. âLet CM Shah admit that he was wrong before or is wrong now,â he said, adding that the PPP and other opposition parties were endangering peopleâs lives by holding rallies during the second wave of the coronavirus.