Cen­sus may ...

Pakistan Observer - - IN­TER­NA­TIONAL -

to the non-avail­abil­ity of suf­fi­cient num­ber of per­son­nel from the armed forces. The Min­is­ter said no­body can deny the sig­nif­i­cance of cen­sus and it was the PML-N which con­ducted last cen­sus in 1998.

The cen­sus is a con­sti­tu­tional re­quire­ment. From the dis­tri­bu­tion of assem­bly seats amongst the prov­inces to NFC funds, the ar­chi­tects of our Con­sti­tu­tion and fed­eral struc­ture con­sid­ered the cen­sus a pre­req­ui­site for the ju­di­cious co­ex­is­tence of the fed­er­at­ing units. Na­tions with cit­i­zens’ com­put­erised data­bases such as the US, UK, China, even In­dia con­duct reg­u­lar de­cen­nial cen­suses.

Pak­istan’s first cen­sus was con­ducted in 1951, fol­lowed by cen­sus in 1961, 1972 and 1981. But then au­to­cratic mindsets and the de­sire to ma­nip­u­late the facts emerged. The fifth cen­sus due in 1991 was not al­lowed till March 1998; the sixth sched­uled for 2008 was de­layed till 2011 but later scrapped af­ter the house count.

Last year, the Coun­cil of Com­mon In­ter­ests agreed to al­low the sixth cen­sus in March 2016 but this time it was de­ferred due to the non avail­abil­ity of the per­son­nel of armed forces as they were en­gaged in Zarb-e-Azb oper­a­tion.

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