• 27 April 2023
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Karachi Census Fraud: A Tale of Injustice and Resistance

Karachi Census Fraud: A Tale of Injustice and Resistance

Karachi, the largest and most populous city in Pakistan, is facing a serious challenge to its identity and rights. The digital census process that started in March 2023 has been marred by allegations of fraud, undercounting, and lack of transparency. Many Karachiites feel that their city is being deliberately deprived of its due share of resources, representation, and planning by the federal and provincial governments.

The digital census was supposed to be a modern and efficient way of counting the people of Pakistan. It involved using a mobile app to record the demographic and socio-economic data of each household. However, soon after the process began, many complaints emerged about the app’s functionality, accuracy, and security. Some people reported that the app crashed frequently, failed to save the data, or showed incorrect results. Others claimed that the app was hacked or manipulated by unknown factors to alter the data.

The most serious accusation came from the political parties and civil society groups in Karachi, who alleged that the digital census was a conspiracy to reduce the population count of the city. They argued that Karachi’s population had grown significantly since the last census in 2017, which recorded 14.9 million people. They estimated that the current population of Karachi was around 30 million, based on various indicators such as electricity consumption, water supply, and voter registration. However, they feared that the digital census would show a much lower figure, which would affect the city’s share of funds, seats, and development projects.

To protest against the census fraud, several parties such as Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) have announced demonstrations across the city. They have also demanded an extension of one month in the census and a formation of a committee of stakeholders for oversight. They have vowed to challenge the census results in court and mobilize the people of Karachi to defend their rights.

The census fraud issue has also sparked a debate on social media, where many Karachiites have expressed their anger and frustration using hashtags such as #karachicensusfraud and #karachimatters. They have shared their stories and experiences of living in Karachi and highlighted its contributions to the economy, culture, and society of Pakistan. They have also called for solidarity and unity among the diverse communities of Karachi to resist any attempt to undermine their city.

The census fraud issue is not just a matter of numbers. It is a matter of justice and dignity for Karachi and its people. It is a matter of ensuring that Karachi gets its fair and rightful place in Pakistan. It is a matter of making sure that Karachi’s voice is heard and respected. It is a matter of standing up for Karachi.

 

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