ISLAMABAD -  The Council of Common Interest’s (CCI) latest decision to hold the 6th population census is silent about the role of armed forces. 

Earlier in March 2015, it was decided by CCI “that while approving a summary submitted by the statistics division it was decided that the census along with house listing exercise may be held in March 2016, under the supervision of armed forces”.

Interestingly, the CCI in its fresh decision did not mention anything about the involvement of the armed forces in conducting the census, documents available with The Nation reveal.

It was not made clear, in the decision, whether the census will be held under the supervision of armed forces or civilian authorities.

Following the CCI decision, the government has decided to start the first phase of census in all the divisions of Balochistan, four divisions of Punjab, three divisions of Sindh and two divisions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from March 15, 2017. The census will be held in two phases.

The four divisions from Punjab that have been selected for the first phase of census include Lahore, Sargodha, Faisalabad and Dera Ghazi Khan; in Sindh, Karachi, Hyderabad and Mirpur Khas have been selected, while in KP, Peshawar and Mardan divisions have been selected in the first phase. 

According to the decision taken by the CCI on December 16, it was decided that the census may be held through the traditional method by using paper-based questionnaires.

The house listing census may be carried out in one go. Form-2 only may be used in the census operation, while Form 2-A may be filled in on a sample basis, after the census operation is over, the documents say.

The Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination in a letter to ministries and divisions has asked to take immediate action for the implementation of the decision of the CCI regarding holding the census in the country.