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MQM warns of agitation if National Census-2017 is approved

Islamabad: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), a key ally of the Imran Khan-led government, has said that the party would take to the streets in protest against the recent decision of the federal cabinet to approve the controversial National Census-2017.

MQM Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, while addressing the press at the National Press Club on Thursday, said that Imran Khan’s government has failed to adopt the points agreed upon between the PTI and MQM

“What is the logic for us now to stay in the government? You (the government) have not implemented even a single point agreed with us,” he said.

Siddiqui claimed his party’s voice has been consistently ignored. “Tell us what should we do? Why are we in the government? Why are we in the cabinet? If we are not heard in the parliament, then tell us, should we come out of the elected houses? Is coming on the roads only way to seek justice and raise voice against excesses?”

On being asked whether his party has decided to quit the ruling alliance he avoided a clear response but rejected the possibility of joining the opposition’s Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).

Besides the MQM, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has also rejected the cabinet’s decision to validate the provisional census results.

The MQM alleged that the National Census-2017 is inaccurate and shows the population of Sindh’s cities less

than it actually is.

Dawn quoted Siddiqui alleging that the population of Sindh’s major cities, particularly that of Karachi, had always been shown 25 to 50 per cent less than the actual count in the census. He claimed that the actual population of Karachi was 25 million whereas in the census, it had been shown as 16 million only.

He hinted that if the government does not cater to the MQM’s concerns regarding the 2017 national census then it could fan separatism.

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