Transparency big hurdle in Pakistan's long-due census

Pakistan's plan to hold census after 18 years this March could further deepen divisions if not done right, experts warn

Transparency big hurdle in Pakistan's long-due census

World Bulletin / News Desk

Pakistan plans to hold census of its ever-growing populace after 18 years this March, which experts warn that if not carried out transparently, it could further deepen the already-existing sense of deprivation among smaller provinces and various ethnic groups of the country.

On Friday, the Prime Minister’s Office announced the Council of Common Interests -- a constitutional body vested with powers to resolve disputes between the federation and the country’s four provinces Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Gilgit-Baltistan semi-autonomous territory – had agreed to hold Pakistan’s sixth population census on March 15.

The statement added that house listing and two-phase census operation would be carried out together, according to daily Dawn. The army chief also announced in a separate statement Friday that 200,000 troops would be made available to carry out the expensive exercise, which is estimated to cost the national exchequer around 14.5 billion rupees (approximately $138 million).

The latest move by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government came only after the Supreme Court took suo motu action over the delay in carrying out the crucial exercise.

This is the second time the census has been delayed since the country gained its independence in 1947 from the then British Empire. The first four censuses -- 1951, 1961, 1972, and 1981 -- were all held on time, but the fifth census was held after a seven-year delay in 1998.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 29 Ocak 2017, 15:53