Still cannot decide whether to take or not take Census - Even After 20 Years
SLAMABAD (Staff Report) – After a gap of 20 years, Pakistan is once again weighing its options to hold 6th population census between November 2016 and March 2017, however the realization of this plan greatly depends on law and order situation and availability of army troops.
On Tuesday, responding to a call-to-attention notice moved by Abdul Qayyum in Senate, Federal Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid said that there was a possibility to conduct the next census at the end of this year and beginning of year 2017.
He, however, avoided to clearly answer whether a decision to this effect has already been taken or not. According to him, availability of army personnel was one of the demands raised by the provincial governments to establish validity.
He explained that the decision to defer the census was taken at the meeting of Council of Common Interest (what kind of "animal" is this?) in February this year due to the non-availability of the sufficient number of personnel of the armed forces.
The minister told the Upper House that about 3,58,000 security personnel will be required to hold census in all parts of country simultaneously.
It is worth mentioning here that Pakistan had last conducted its population census in 1998 ( so all this time, population and other indicators were based on Lahori Logic and Sialkot Statistics !)and according to the law federal government is subjected to hold census after every ten years. Hence, the census should have been held in 2008.
However, at a meeting Council of Common Interests (CCI) in February where Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and all four provincial chief ministers were present, it was decided to postpone the population census due non-availability of military troops.
There was a proposal to hold census without participation of army, however some political parties such as PPP, PTI and MQM announced that no such process will be accepted, as personnel was required for maintenance of law and order situation as well as to ensure credibility.
Just like everything else, this "process" too can be out-sourced to "friendly countries" with loan from World Bank / IMF
It should also be noted that under the constitution, the federal tax collections are distributed among all provinces as per the population share -which is called National Finance Commission Award. The gerrymandering process -change in boundaries of constituencies- is also dependent on the population census.