Pakistan’s headcount: a necessary exercise despite resistance – THE HINDU

Today’s article is about the Census that Pakistan will be experiencing after 19 years. There are certain key points that one must look onto. First of all Census is not just the exercise of counting the population but also has other aspects like what is the literacy rate , sex/gender ratio, the financial condition of the people in the given province, also the density of population. The Census helps the government to not only successfully undertake the task of resource allocation but also helps the government in delimitation of the electoral provincial constituencies.

This process has to start before May, as ruled by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. There has been a resistance for this Census (of Pakistan) for the ethnic leaders and political parties. The reasons to this resistance seem to be pretty much evident. First of all there has been a great influx in the Sindh and Punjab is experiencing a slowing growth in population. The political parties say that many Sindhis in the rural Sindh will not be counted because they do not have national identities. Punjabis fear that they might lose the edge they have in the politics due to demographic structure. Moreover the local political groups in Baluchistan believe that this process must be postponed until hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees return to Afghanistan. The high court of Baluchistan has ruled that the Afghan refugees will be excluded from the Census. The tribal groups in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (a province in the North West Pakistan which was known as the Northwestern Frontier) demand reverse migration there.

Despite all these resistance the Sharif government must conduct the resistance because it is believed that Pakistan is now in a relatively stable position in terms of politics as well as economy (there has been growth in the economy of Pakistan). Moreover the Sharif government does not face many challenges now and it would be completing its term next year, hence it does not even face existential challenge. This Census would turn out be in favor of the people as there would be proper management possible with the help of data. The data collected in the 1998 Census is now obsolete. A fact one must know is that the (Pakistani) Army will be providing 2, 00, 000 personnel to the Sharif Government for this 70 day campaign.


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