The Ministry of Planning Development and Special Initiatives has included prominent demographers, researchers and experts in the committee, headed by Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Dr Jehanzeb Khan, constituted by the government for suggesting recommendations based on international best practices for the next population census.

The committee will deliberate on the census process, data collection and field operation methodologies used around the world for census. Apart from official representative, the committee also draws upon independent experts, including Dr G M Arif who is a former joint director of PIDE; Dr Zeba A Sathar, country director Population Council; Prof Dr Muhammad Nizamuddin, a renowned demographer and former chairperson of Punjab Higher Education Commission, Punjab; Dr Syed Mohammad Arif, former professor, University of Balochistan; Dr Durr-e-Nayab, a demographer, joint director/director research PIDE; Dr Ayesha Sheraz, demographer/senior fellow, NIPS; Mazhar Jamal, former joint census commissioner, geography/GIS specialist  and Dr Sanam Wagma Khattak, demographer from University of Peshawar.

The committee’s recommendations are expected to bring about major improvements in the process and methodology of data collection for census which will address the complaints and concerns emanating from various quarters regarding the results of national census.

The results of National Census 2017 have not yet been published as they await approval of the Council of Common Interests (CCI). The federal cabinet constituted a committee to look into the issues and complaints which had caused a delay in the approval and issuance of census results. The cabinet committee after detailed deliberations recommended that the results of census 2017 may be approved for publishing and at the same time the process and methodology for collection of data may be reviewed to ensure that these are according to the international practices in the future. The committee also recommended that the next census may be conducted at an early date without waiting for the ten-year gap.

The federal cabinet has endorsed the recommendations of the committee. These recommendations will be presented to the CCI for final approval.

Hamza Habib is a senior journalist and former editor of who has previously worked for leading newspapers and TV networks of the country. He mainly writes on the economy and political issues.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here