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Government begins census on 15 March next year: Supreme Court

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ISLAMABAD (APS)December 1, 2016 – Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday has directed to conduct population census on March 15, 2017.

SC expressed resentment over the government for delay in carrying out the census and not finalizing any date.

Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali remarked that there is no other option besides summoning the Prime Minister in the court.

He directed to commence the population census on March 15, 2017 and conclude it on May 15, 2017.

The Chief also pronounced that democratic system highly depends upon population census however; if it is not held then election would be nothing more than a joke.

“There is vast difference between 1998 and today’s population. Police are being made without having any record of the exact number of people in the country,” he said.

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“From the current scenario it seems that the government has no intention of holding a population census,” he asserted.

Justice Ameer Hani Muslim asked Attorney General: “When can the Prime Minister present himself before the court?”

The court while adjourning the hearing till December 7 has sought final date from the government for population census .

The last census was carried out in 1998 when the population was counted at 132 million people.

It is since believed to have crossed the 200 million mark, an estimate based on figures from yearly growth statements issued by the country’s statistics bureau and survey work, making Pakistan the sixth most populous country in the world.

The census would cost 14.5 billion Pakistani rupees ($145 million) with the preliminary findings available in June 2016 and the final results issued in December 2017.

Pakistan was due to conduct a census in 2008 and 2010 but political unrest, conflict, and natural disasters contributed to delays.

The census is also a sensitive issue politically because it determines the amount of development budget allocated to each of the country’s provinces.

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