A system to acquire record of information about all the members of population of a country, province, district or city is called as Census. Question is that why census is so important for any country, a trustworthy census is really important for any other country but it gets inevitable in a country like Pakistan where society doesn’t lift its own responsibility. People don’t make their births or deaths registered here. It further leads to the lacking in recording the official count of population; consequently justified distribution of resources can’t be made according to the population.
The last census in Pakistan was held in 1998 almost 19 years ago. 10 years is a normal interval between two censuses but unfortunate instability of governments in Pakistan paved the way of delay in this certain constitutional responsibility.
It is often considered as a threat for the beneficiaries of a corrupt political system. Delaying tactics are played to avoid or delay census as long as possible so that state can be deprived of the actual number of population, area wise. Later on, formation of electoral constituencies are designed and affected by keeping any political party’s interests on priority. On the top of it, unavailability of proper mechanism or coordination among institutions makes it next to impossible to conduct census after every one decade.
Let’s take a brief look at the censuses took place in Pakistan since its creation. So far 5 complete censuses have been conducted to materialize the must requirement of acquiring actual number of citizens in homeland. First was held after 4 years of creation of Pakistan in 1951. This census revealed that total population of Pakistan at that time was 75 Million.
2nd census followed the first one right after 10 years on its due date on 1961 and reflected total population as 93 million. 3rd one was due at 1971 but couldn’t get through because of prevailing war on Pakistan. So with the delay of 1 year in 1972 3rd census was held and total population of Pakistan was recorded as 65.3 million because of the sad incident of separation of East Pakistan. 4th census was held in 1981 and 83.78 million population of Pakistan was recorded. 5th census took place in 1998 and total population was documented as 130.34 million.
Now 6th census of the history of Pakistan is being officiated in the stretched of country. It is being held right after 19 years of last census took place in 1998. Another highlighting note of this census is that transgender will also be counted as citizens of Pakistan.
Question rises here, whether Govt can convert all the desired purposes into reality after successful and complete census of 2017 or not? Can population of administrative areas be gauged or counted as per merit and electoral constituencies can be shaped in the lights of these studies? Proportion between population and housing needs can be figured out and any action would be taken to set its bar at a justified level? Can provincial population and their requirements be gauged?
All these ifs and buts are associated with this census, let’s hope for the best.