KARACHI: On Tuesday, Pak Sarzameen Party President Syed Mustafa Kamal declared that his party would plan a major protest rally on January 17 (Sunday) against the federal cabinet’s recent decision to authorise the contentious National Census-2017.
The PSP leader gave a new date for his party’s rally, which was originally planned for Jan 10 but postponed due to citywide sit-ins over the Mach disaster, at a press conference at the party’s Pakistan House headquarters.
Mr. Kamal not only lashed out at Pakistan’s ruling Tehreek-i-Insaf and its Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan coalition ally, but also targeted the Pakistan People’s Party for causing the people of Karachi to become increasingly isolated.
“The PTI-led federal government is causing a sense of deprivation by approving the controversial Karachi census, which is paving the way for the MQM and PPP’s hate policy agenda on ethnic grounds,” he said.
He said that the event will commence at the Nursery and end at the Karachi Press Club through Sharea Faisal, concerning the rally.
CJP requested to take notice
Flanking PSP President Anis Kaimkhani and other lawmakers, Mr. Kamal announced that his party had written a letter to Pakistan’s chief justice urging him to take note of the “false” census and its subsequent federal cabinet approval.
He said that if the CJP summoned the National Database and Registration Authority documents, the actual population of Karachi could easily be identified.
He informed Prime Minister Imran Khan that without performing a five percent audit of census blocks in Karachi, there was no need to accept the contentious census results as the forthcoming local government elections could be conducted in the same way as the 2018 general elections were conducted.
For the past 22 years, you [PM] have been battling for the eradication of dynastic politics, but today, when you have the opportunity, you are reinforcing the so-called ruling families,” he said, adding that if PM Khan was really sincere about ending dynastic politics, by holding the LG elections and empowering local governments across the nation, he should create a new leadership.”
Threats to 18th Amendment
He said that attempts were being made to abolish the 18th Amendment, but the nation’s citizens were not involved in preserving it because all resources were consumed by the provincial government and declined to move them at the level of the grassroots.
“If the rulers of all the provinces want to save the 18th amendment, they should empower the common man and protect their own rights in return,” he added, adding: “Now it is up to the provincial governments to decide whether to empower the people and give the lowest level of power and resources or give it back to the federation.”
On December 22, the federal cabinet accepted the findings of the census and agreed to submit a draught for formal approval to the Council of Shared Interests.
By writing a dissenting letter, the MQM-P dissociated itself from the cabinet’s decision and all major Sindh parties, including PPP, PSP, Jamaat-i-Islami, condemn the move and demand a new census.