ISLAMABAD - Bureau of Statistics (PBS) Chief Statistician Asim Bajwa has said that all people will be counted in census including those who are residing in GHQ, jails and diplomatic enclaves.

Giving monthly briefing at a press conference on Thursday, Bajwa said that census will start on March 15. The training of the census staff has almost completed.

Replying to a question, he said that all people including foreigners will be counted in census. He said those who were residing in GHQ, jails and other diplomatic enclaves will be counted too.

The government has yet to release Rs22.2 billion earmarked for security purposes of upcoming population census starting from March 15.

“The ministry of finance has so far released Rs7.5 billion for the census but it has not released funds for security-related expenditures,” said Bajwa. He further said that the PBS had disbursed Rs5.5 billion out of Rs7.5 billion to the district commissioners for running census expenditures.

The population census would cost Rs30.2 billion to the national kitty of which Rs22.2 billion will go to the army. Bajwa said that PBS was all set to conduct the census in two phases starting from March 15 to May 25.

Talking about the census in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), he said that PBS had sought data of internally-displaced persons from Nadra and the Fata Secretariat. Currently, there is a military operation in three out of seven agencies of Fata, he said and added that the issue of counting of IDPs would be solved before the start of the national exercise.

He said that the army and the district administration of the cities would identify sensitive areas in the upcoming census. As many as 200,000 army personnel would perform duties during the exercise, he said. He said that 42,000 army personnel out of total 200,000 would be deployed with enumerators while remaining would perform security duties.

Rs 350 million will be set for advertising campaign of census. However, no money has been issued for security concerns as yet.

He added that search operation is going on in 3 out of 7 seven agencies of Fata while negotiations are going on with FATA secretariat that how to count them.

Responding to a question, he said that census means that on March 18 all individuals in Pakistan would be counted including foreigners as they are utilizing the country’s resources.

Secretary Statistics Division Dr Shujaat said that the PBS has completed all its homework for the exercise.  He said that training of four batches of enumerators and supervisors has been completed while the training of the fifth batch was in progress.

COAS WITNESSES CENSUS REPARATIONS

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Thursday visited Multan Garrison. The COAS witnessed training for troops to execute population census support plan, Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) stated in a news release in Islamabad.

The army chief appreciated the preparations and said that population census is an important national activity and the army shall extend full support for its smooth conduct.

The Pakistan Army has drawn 200,000 troops to support the sixth population and housing census being conducted after 19 years.

Earlier, on arrival at Multan, the COAS was received by Commander Multan Corps Lieutenant General Sarfraz Sattar. Inspector General Training and Evaluation Lieutenant General Hidayatur Rehman was also present.

 

 

IMRAN ALI KUNDI/AGENCIES