Islamabad: Federal Minister for Planning Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar has constituted a five-member committee to ensure that the next population census is accurate and trasparent. The committee will chaired by Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Muhammad Jehanzeb Khan. This comes soon after the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) expressed reservations to the government regarding the last census.

The committee has the mandate to review the census process, data collection, and field operation methodologies used for Census 2017. It will also recommend the modern methodologies being adopted for censuses regionally and globally to conduct the upcoming census, and compare international questionnaires and proposals with national ones for potentional improvement. It will review mode of data collection (manual /electronic) for provision of timely and credible results, and recommend the adoption of innovative tools and technologies for geo-referred enumeration up to the household level for upcoming census.

The committee will review the best practices of field operations, including monitoring/supervision & data processing, to minimize the any ommissions or errors, and complete coverage. It will also devise strategies for confidence building of all stakeholders, to ensure smooth completion of census operations and increase the credibility of census results.

The committee includes Muhammad Ahmed Zubair, Chief Economist, Muhammad Sarwar Gondal, Member (Support Services) PBS, Dr G M Arif, renowned demographer and independent researcher, Dr Muhammad Nizamuddin, researcher and representative of NADRA. 

Sixth Population & Housing Census 2017 was conducted w.e.f. March 15 to May 25, 2017, and provisional results were released in August 2017 with the approval of the Council of Common Interests (CCI). The Cabinet, in its meeting held on February 11, 2020 constituted a five-member committee to deliberate and make recommendations to approve the final results of Census 2017. The committee, after deliberations, has submitted it recommendations to the Cabinet, which has forwarded recommendations to CCI for the final decision.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government’scrucial ally MQM had serious reservations over the outcome of Sixth Population & Housing Census 2017, in which Karachi’s population was listed as around 16 million. MQM, recently in a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan, threatened to quit the government if their concerns were not addressed. However, the prime minister assured them that this matter will be resolved on a priority basis. This latest development appears to be a follow-up to this concern.


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