ISLAMABAD -  The crucial sixth population and housing census will commence across the country from Wednesday (today).

President Mamnoon Hussain will inaugurate the head count in Karachi by filling the census form.

More than 300,000 civil and military personal will conduct the census in two phases which will conclude in May.

The Federal government decided to conduct sixth census in the last meeting of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) in compliance to the apex court order.

The last census was conducted in 1998, which according to the Constitution has to be carried out after every 10 years.

Meanwhile, Chief Statistician Asif Bajwa told Radio Pakistan that all arrangements have been finalised for the sixth housing and population census tobe commenced from Wednesday.

He said that the census will be conducted in two phases.

In the first phase, housing survey will be conducted in 63 districts and agencies of the country, which include 16 in Punjab, eight in Sindh, seven in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, seven agencies of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), 15 in Balochistan, and five each in Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.

In the second phase, to be begun from 25th of the next month, 21 each districts of Punjab and Sindh, 18 Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 17 in Balochistan, the Islamabad Capital Territory, and five each in Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.

Asif Bajwa said that during first three days, census forms will be distributed and house will be marked with green pencil.

He said that a Help Line 0800-57574 has been set up for any kind of information or report regarding the census process and asked the people to contact on this number if survey forms are not delivered at their homes.

He said that the census team will comprise of two persons; one civil enumerator, while the other will be a military person.

Asif Bajwa said that the team will ask a person questions about head of the family and his relations with the family head, academic qualification, profession and the property in which a family is residing. 

He said that all the information to be retrieved during census will be kept secret and no organisation or individual will be allowed access to this.

He said a fine and imprisonment will be awarded to those who provide wrong information to the census team.

He urged the people to cooperate with the team and provide correct information for their own better future.

He said 86,842 blocks have been formed for the census process.

Asif Bajwa said that overseas Pakistanis are not included in the census process. He, however, said that Pakistani citizens staying abroad for less than six months will be included in the survey.

The chief statistician said that the Pakistan Army will ensure security of the drive, while police and local administration will also assist in this regard.

He said that the process helps the State allocating sufficient resources on the basis of correct number of its inhabitants.

He said that it also helps allocate seats in National Assembly and determination of quota for a particular region and the people.

18 Orakzai tribes announce

boycott over TDPs issue

Staff Reporter from Hangu adds: Eighteen tribes in Orakzai Agency on Tuesday announced to boycott census process until temporarily displaced persons are sent back to their respective hometowns along with ensuring basic facilities to them.

The decision was made at a joint jirga of the tribes, whose participants later held a protest demonstration in front of Hangu Press Club to press the government for meeting their demands.

The jirga was attended by Jamiat-e-Ulama-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) leader Maulana Mian Hussian Jalali, Qasim Gul Orakzai, Lal Manshah Orakzai, Fazal Mohammad Orakzai, Laiq Shah Orakzai and several other tribal elders.

“We want rehabilitation of TDPs before population census”, the elders said, adding that no accurate census could be held in their areas where from the people have shifted to downtowns. “Our boycott would continue until our demands are met”, they said. They alleged that tribal people who had been repatriated to their hometowns were so far not provided with basic facilities, which they said was an injustice to them.

Is it possible to live in a locality where there is no life facilities, they questioned, adding that time and again they had demanded of the government to ensure them the basic life needs first, then send them back, but unfortunately there was nothing on ground.

The government had dispatched census forms to them, but there was no column for temporarily displaced persons (TDPs), which they termed regrettable.

The government, they said, had still time to consider their demands; otherwise they would be left with no option other than to boycott the census process. They said carrying out the exercise of in the prevailing circumstances was tantamount to excluding tribal people from been counted.

The elders later called on the political agent of Orakzai Agency and apprised him of their reservations. They told political agent to postpone the census until complete repatriation of the displaced families.