ISLAMABAD – Brushing aside the condition of holding a national identity card, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) Wednesday said that all the citizens including transgender persons would be enlisted in the sixth national population census.
“We have introduced a category in the census forms to distinguish the Pakistani nationals and foreigners,” he said.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) senior leader Syed Naveed Qamar the other day had raised concerns in the National Assembly that citizens without national identity card would not be allowed to enlist in the census. However, Chief Statistician of the PBS clarified that all the citizens would be enlisted in the census, whether they had the NIC or not.
He said that all Pakistanis living abroad for the last six months would not be enlisted in the census.
Bajwa said that foreigners living here for the last six months would be included in the census process.
Last year, the Council of Common Interests (CCI), in its meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, agreed to start Pakistan’s 6th Population and Housing Census on March 15, 2017.
Pakistan is going to conduct new census after 19 years as the last time it was conducted in 1998. The first census in Pakistan was conducted in 1951, second in 1961, and third in 1972.
Fourth census was held in March 1981 and fifth, which was due in 1991, was conducted in March 1998.
However, no census was conducted during the last 19 years. The CCI in March last year decided to conduct fresh census in March 2016.
However, it had not started the exercise due to the military’s engagement in Operation Zarb-e-Azb.
Bajwa clarified that the constitution did not ask for conducting census after 10 years, as it was only international practice that was followed in the country. He said that the PBS was all set to begin the national exercise in different parts of the country.
“The PBS has already made a plan to train the teachers for conducting census from February 6th,” Bajwa said.
Sharing details, he said that government had made phase-wise distribution of all the areas to conduct the exercise, as it already decided to conduct the census in phases.
March 18, 2017 has been set as reference day and everyone present in the country on that day would be included in the census, Bajwa added.
The Chief Statistician of the PBS said that it would engage 84,000 enumerators for collecting data from 168,120 census blocks across the country.
“Army has assured us to provide security for conducting national exercise, as one army personnel will be engaged with each enumerator,” he said.