MQM rejects census results, demands “true population record”

population

Farah Adeed |

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has been facing existential threats for the last several years. Party leaders have expressed it many times. The founder of the party, Altaf Hussain has told his followers that his party was targeted to cut it down in size in order to shape the desired political trends in Karachi.

But on 22nd August 2016 Altaf Hussain, on the contrary, made some anti-Pakistani remarks and urged his followers while talking to a group of his party workers to stand up against the state institutions. “Pakistan is cancer for the entire world. Pakistan is a headache for the entire world. Pakistan is the epicenter of terrorism for the entire world. Who says long live Pakistan…it’s down with Pakistan”, the MQM founder said.

This is very important for policy formulation and resource distribution. If the government fails to address the grievances of the people of Karachi and of their representatives, political commentators fear.

Soon after his incendiary speech, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) parted its ways with the London-based Altaf Hussain. Dr. Farooq Sattar became the head of the party in Pakistan. It is also to be noted here that a former MQM leader Syed Mustafa Kamal founded Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) on 23 March 2016 after clashes with MQM leadership. Many former members of MQM are now working with the PSP.

Read more: Are MQM factions thinking of uniting against PPP for 2018 elections?

Dr. Farooq Sattar led MQM-P has organized itself and retained political power in Karachi. The MQM-P has assured the Urdu speaking community of Karachi that their interests will be protected at any cost. But the people should remain committed to the party’s ideology, the MQM-P leaders demanded.

Dr. Farooq Sattar has questioned the provisional results of census 2017. He was caught by surprise to see that the population of Karachi is only 14.9 million. He alleged that the population figure for Karachi has been marked down as “it cannot be less than 30 million”. Furthermore, he claimed that “figure of 15 million only depicts the female population of the city”.

The people of Karachi have elected their representatives who need to be respected and listened to carefully. Common sense dictates to ponder upon what the MQM leadership is crying for.

In this regard, the MQM-P staged a rally on November 4 in Liaquatabad, Karachi and maintained its earlier stance on the preliminary results of census 2017. The party leadership has uprightly rejected provisional results and bluntly spoken against, what they claimed, is ‘rigged data’ of the census results.

“Our representation has been slashed to half, this will affect our development projects and the already thin amount of resources at our disposal will be further reduced,” the MQM-P head feared. “Today they have reduced our population, tomorrow they will reduce our water quota as well”, continued Sattar.

Read more: UK considers hate charges against Altaf Hussain

MQM was accused of being a ‘terror group’ and a ‘holy cow’ a few years ago. There were some undemocratic means to maintain the hold of the party in Karachi. Neither media nor civil society was allowed to openly criticize the policies of MQM. It was also almost impossible for any other (than MQM itself) political party to hold a rally in the city. Businessmen were insecure for they had to give money to the people of “bhai”.

In this regard, the MQM-P staged a rally on November 4 in Liaquatabad, Karachi and maintained its earlier stance on the preliminary results of census 2017.

MQM claimed, argue the locals, absolute monopoly over the city for multiple years. Neutral observers however now suggest that the MQM-P has altered its policies and decided to adopt inclusive and non-violent policies rather than coercive and violent means to seek mass support.

Karachi is the largest city in Pakistan. It is also an economic hub where people from different areas come and find employment opportunities. The people of Karachi have elected their representatives who need to be respected and listened to carefully. Common sense dictates to ponder upon what the MQM leadership is crying for. Without conducting a transparent census and taking suggestions from policy experts, it is difficult to show the true population of the city.

Read more: Why Nadeem Nusrat’s desertion from MQM-London is not significant?

This is very important for policy formulation and resource distribution. If the government fails to address the grievances of the people of Karachi and of their representatives, political commentators fear, Pakistan will have to face a new wave of ethnic politics. Pakistan’s diverse and complex ethnic composition demands a careful treatment for maintaining socio-political stability. Any irresponsible move by an influential individual or institution may lead towards some politically unmanageable disruptions.

The writer is a political analyst. The views expressed in this article are author’s own. It does not reflect Global Village Space Editorial policy.

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