Islamabad, March 16: Pakistan has launched a countrywide census on Wednesday after a delay of 19 years. The census will be completed on 25th of May. The final outcome would be known by July and it may lead to demarcation of constituencies ahead of the General elections next year.
At least one soldier will accompany each civilian enumerator going from house to house to enlist the number of households and individuals living there. Pakistan Army will dispatch up to 200,000 troops for the exercise, including 44,000 participating directly in the census-taking and making a parallel count using a second form.
“All arrangements have been put in place for the first phase of the census. The field staff has received the required material,” said Chief Statistician Asif Bajwa.
He said as many as 118,000 enumerators from different departments, including the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), had been provided training. Moreover, 175,000 army personnel have also been deployed in the districts. The army personnel, he said, would be involved in enumeration as well as providing security to the surveyors.
The first phase of the exercise will end on April 15. The second phase will commence on April 25 and end on May 25. In the second phase, 87 districts will be covered. Census reports will be completed in two months.
Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world, with an estimated 200 million people, but has not held a census since 1998 due to years of disputing between politicians. The first census in the country was conducted in 1951, the second in 1961, the third in 1972, instead of 1971 due to political turmoil, and the fourth in 1981. The fifth census, which was due in 1991, was conducted in March 1998 with the help of the army.