PPP files petition challenging transparency of census

Judges told that census officials are counting non-locals, not reaching every house, say party leaders

March 21, 2017
Soldiers walk with an official (L) from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics as they arrive in a residential area to collect information for a census in Lahore on March 15, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) challenged on Monday the ongoing national census in the province.

A petition was jointly filed by senior party leader Senator Farhatullah Babar and the chief minister's information adviser Moula Bux Chandio in the Sindh High Court (SHC), in which the federal and provincial authorities were named as respondents.

They argued that the ongoing exercise of the national census was not being carried out in the province in a transparent manner, as non-locals were being counted as locals, which was against the constitutional provisions.

'Share census statistics to clear misconceptions'

They stated that it was being done under a conspiracy to show the number of Sindh residents as less than the actual strength.

The PPP leaders argued that since there was a lack of transparency in the census exercise, it should be made transparent and impartial enumerators should be appointed to carry out the task.

They said house listing was not completely done in the first phase of the census exercise, which should be completed. The petitioners argued that every citizen should be provided a copy of the information which the enumerators obtain door-to-door so that they also know what information was being obtained.

The petitioners said the public should be given free access to the process so that they could approach the authorities if any incorrect information was mistakenly given to the enumerators.

Half of Karachi’s houses not counted in first phase of census

The petitioners pointed out that steps should also be adopted to ensure there is no duplication in the process of gathering nationwide information.

The PPP leaders argued that if the exercise was not made transparent it will prove harmful to national integrity, federation and political stability in the country. Therefore, they pleaded that the exercise should be made transparent.

It was also requested to direct the statistics bureau and other authorities to ensure transparency by adopting measures to stop inclusion of non-locals or duplication in data collection.


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