From the floor of the sindh assembly – Fisherfolk and nomads in… illegal immigrants out of census | Pakistan Today

From the floor of the sindh assembly – Fisherfolk and nomads in… illegal immigrants out of census

KARACHI – The Sindh Assembly on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution demanding the enumeration of people living on water bodies and far-flung areas of the province and the exclusion of illegal immigrants during the census to be started on April 5.
The resolution was jointly moved by PML-F member Nusrat Saher Abbasi and some PPP and MQM members. “This assembly resolves and recommends to the Sindh government to approach the federal government for issuing directives to the Federal Census Commission to collect data of fishermen who live on water bodies, nomad tribes that exist in Thar, Kohistan and Kasho, and people living on islands and kacho areas and to ensure that illegal immigrants are not included in the census,” stated the resolution passed by the house.
At the end of provincial assembly proceedings, during an official briefing given to the MPAs by Federal Census Secretary Asif Bajwa and Provincial Census Commissioner Habibullah Khatak, the lawmakers belonging to different parties including PPP, MQM and PML-F expressed several reservations over the arrangements and the procedure finalised by the Federal Census Commission for census Speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, Senior Minister Pir Mazharul Haq, Katchi Abadis Minister Rafiq Engineer and Culture Minister Sassui Palijo among others pointed out the presence of illegal immigrants in the province who possessed national identity cards and properties especially in Karachi and expressed their concern if they were counted in the census.
They also termed the appointment of 20,000 census staff in the province as insufficient and emphasised on counting people living in deserts, hilly and kacha areas besides those still living in flood-relief camps. Engineer also objected on the inclusion of Brahvi language in the column of Census Performa, saying it was not separate from the Balochi language. MQM’s Syed Sardar Ahmed, Faisal Sabzwari and Khawaja Izharul Hassan among others expressed their concern on the census commission’s plan to consider an apartment building comprising several flats as one structure during the housing census.
They termed it clear injustice and demanded that every flat of an apartment be counted as a separate house.
Replying to the queries of lawmakers, the federal census officials said that each and every person possessing the national identity card would be counted and considered as a Pakistani citizen. However, they added, the foreigners living in notified camps would not be included in the population census. The counting of housing units would be held from April 5 to 19 in the first phase and the population census would be held in August or September this year, however, its time table was yet to be decided. Every boat, hut, concrete house and buildings would be considered as one structure but different families living in one structure would be counted separately.
Control rooms would be set up at district and taluka levels under the supervision of DCOs and DDOs respectively to register complaints while a monitoring committee would work in each province to be headed by the chief secretaries of the concerned province. The committee would have at least eight secretary level officers as its members, the census commission officials stated.

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