In a letter sent to the government, Census Coordination Committee Sindh demands legislation against migration of people from other provinces and countries, and cancellation of all the fake 4 million CNICs and such votes from voters’ list.
The Census Coordination Committee of Sindh has submitted several suggestions to the government for ensuring transparent and legitimate census in the province, including separate counting of permanent residents, temporary residents from other three provinces including Punjab, KPK, Blochistan, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, foreigners and refugees during the Census 2022.
In a letter sent to the Chief Secretary of Sindh, the Census Coordination Committee Sindh (CCCS) stated that due to criticism and reservations from Sindh on the results of 6th census (2017), the Federal Government decided to hold 7th census before time. Accordingly, the CCI in its 45th meeting, held on 12.4.21, decided for holding the fresh census digitally using latest technology in 2022.
“In order to ensure transparency, the CCCS has some suggestions for consideration and implementation,” the letter stated.
The CCCS suggested that the Federal Government be requested to appoint Provincial Census Commissioner for Sindh, at the earliest; Sindh Bureau of Statistics should be fully activated and involved in this process, from the very beginning at every stage of census process; it may be ensured that the permanent residents, temporary residents from other three provinces including Punjab, KPK, Blochistan, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, foreigners including refugees should be counted separately, because, counting all these three categories in combined way will have serious implications for population measurement, voting rights and ultimately representation in Sindh Assembly, National Assembly and Senate of Pakistan.
The CCCS further suggested the Sindh government to consider legislation on the article 15 and 23 of the Constitution, discouraging migration from other three federating units and from foreign countries including Afghanistan into Sindh.
Moreover, permanent settlement of migrant people takes place through Katchi Abadis (Squatters), ultimately these settlements are regularized, counted and entered in voters list and therefore this process be discouraged.
“As per Director FIA Sindh, four million fake CNICs have been issued and their votes are also registered. We demand the cancellation of these 4 million fake CNICs and their registration in the voters list,” the CCCS said suggesting that the federal government be persuaded to register the CNICs in census data and the questionnaire for census be deeply studied, so that it can be fully transparent and legitimate.
It further suggested that the census committee constituted by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics should have representation from Provincial Governments and civil society while participation of female enumerators be encouraged and ensured; skilled enumerators and data collectors be hired from market and Census questionnaire be published in all provincial languages.
The CCCS in its letter urged that the data security be ensured with proper data backup because the data manipulation in digital census will be comparatively easier than manual.
The CCCS also drew attention to the non-availability of internet in remote areas and suggested increasing the proportion of paper-based manual enumeration to 20%. Moreover, as census is being conducted digitally, therefore, geo-tagging is important.
It urged that in the field data collection and monitoring, provincial government staff be involved and to ensure transparency, the role of Army be enhanced from just security to monitoring.
“Keeping in mind the UNICEF survey and some independent analysis, we understand, that if the census process is completely transparent, the population of Sindh will not be less than 30% of the total population of Pakistan,” the CCCS letter concluded.
The letter is signed by Prof Dr. Mehboob Ali Shaikh, President Sindh Vision & Convener, Census Coordination Committee, Sindh, Prof. Eng. Mushtaq Mirani, Chairman, Sindh Democratic Forum, Prof Aijaz Qureshi, Secretary, Servants of Sindh Society, Ishaq Soomro, Secretary, Sindh Scientists’ Social Forum and Dr. Ali Gul Metlo, Founder Member, Sindh Vision.
Copy of the letter have also been sent Principal Secretary to CM Sindh, Secretary, Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform, Islamabad, Muhamad Sarwar Gondal, Focal Person, Census-2022, PBS, Islamabad.