ISLAMABAD - Former MNA of PML-Q Marvi Memon has appealed to the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take suo moto notice of govt’s failure to conduct census, which is a breach of various Articles of the Constitution besides as per UN obligations every country is required to conduct census after every 10 years.

She stated that the failure of the government to conduct timely and accurate census is in breach of Article 25, 36, 37, 38, 51(5), 53. ‘As per Article 51(5) the seats in the National Assembly shall be allocated to each province, FATA and the Federal Capital on the basis of population in accordance with the last preceding census officially published’, she said.

She further stated: ‘any electoral, budgetary and development decisions, seats allocated on the basis of a disputed outdated 1998 census is already creating severe inter-provincial disharmony. This needs to be rectified immediately for the betterment of our people and national integration.

Moreover, any credible election can only take place in the presence of a credible updated census’.

In the absence of an updated census it is impossible to effectively run the affairs of the Federal and provincial governments. As such I urge you to take suo moto notice and direct the Federal government to immediately conduct a population census, she added.

In her appeal, she has stated that a census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population.

A census is primarily conducted for the economic and social well being of the people, it is also imperative for the just and equitable development of a populace, she said.

‘The last census conducted in Pakistan was in 1998, which is not only disputed but stands grossly outdated after a passage of 14 years where the population has grown at the rate of 2.3 per cent. A correct census is essential for the purposes including equitable development, planning of resources and services allocation (school, health units, communication networks, food requirements, water distribution etc), budgetary preparations, statements, resources, taxation and revenues, NFC Awards for all provinces and Federal consolidated fund, Federal job quota allocation for all provinces and Parliamentary seat allocations/ delimitation, eligible voters for credible elections’, she added.

In Pakistan, the current government has reneged on its responsibility to conduct timely and accurate housing and population census. As an MNA I reminded the government of its responsibility through a National Assembly Resolution signed by atleast 50 other MNAs in August 2009, and through a Sub-Committee Resolution in April 2010, she stated.

Finally in April 2011 the housing census was conducted but with many discrepancies in certain mega cities favouring certain political parties, she added.

‘The population census was due to be conducted latest by Sept 2011. Since this is a Federal legislative subject, the CCI approval is necessary for the next stage which is the population census. This critical issue has been continuously ignored in the agenda of the CCI meeting including the one, which took place on Feb 9th, 2012. If the population census is not conducted before the one year anniversary of the housing census, the latter will become redundant thus costing the exchequer significantly’, she added.