Top Court To Conduct Hearings On Karachi Population Count After Elections 2018

JUN 29, 2018: The Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar on Friday approved Pak Sarzameen Party’s (PSP) appeal against the registrar’s dismissal of its petition pertaining to the recent population census conducted in Karachi.

The appeal was heard by the Chief Justice in his chambers where the PSP Chief and former Karachi mayor Mustafa Kamal was present.

In his decision, Chief Justice Nisar observed that the hearing on the petition will be held after the general election, due on July 25, as any proceedings prior to that could impact the polls.

In the petition, the PSP has pointed out that the population census conducted earlier this year has undercounted Karachi’s population, which in reality is over 30 million.

The census showed the city’s urban population as around 15 million. The rural population of Karachi division stands at 1.1 million, spread across parts of Karachi West and Malir districts — the demarcation of rural and urban areas falls under the purview of the provincial government and not the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

Kamal addressed the media outside the apex court, and stated that thousands of people arrive in Karachi every year and settle in the metropolis. He added that despite the influx, population counts of Karachi’s rural and urban areas show a decrease in numbers.

“How do you expect to give people their due right if you can’t even count them correctly?”

The Census Bureau has denied any wrongdoing.

Earlier, Kamal said that the latest census in Sindh province has slashed Karachi’s population by seven million. He further highlighted that only the population of the port city was shown to be less while the rural population count of Sindh was kept intact.

While Sindh provincial capital’s population grew by 59pc in nineteen years, the the Punjab province’s capital, Lahore, witnessed a 116pc growth in population during the same period.

On elections in Karachi, Kamal said PSP’s competition is just with the PPP.

“Even with the PPP, we are expecting a tough fight on barely two or three seats in the city,” Kamal told the media in Islamabad on Wednesday.

According to the former Karachi mayor, coalition with any party is not on the cards right now. He said that the next chief minister of Sindh will either be from PSP or will be a candidate backed by the party.

Kamal said his party deserves credit for the peace in Karachi as “we are ones who ended fighting”.

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