Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has approved the plan to support the conduct of the sixth population and housing census.
“COAS approves plan to support conduct of 6th Population & Housing Census. Upto 200,000 troops will be employed while continuing other security responsibilities,” DG ISPR Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said in a statement on Friday.
The first phase of the census would be completed in mid-April, while the second phase is likely to be initiated from April 24 and would end in mid-May. Preliminary results of the national population census would start arriving in June which would be made public accordingly, the sources informed.
For conducting the census, the PBS has already divided the country’s population into 168,120 blocks, each block consisting of about 200 to 250 households, the sources said, adding that over 84,000 enumerators would be involved in the nationwide exercise.
While the census is supposed to occur once every 10 years, Pakistan has not had one since 1998. The incumbent government initially agreed to hold the census in March 2015. However, it cited a lack of preparation and delayed it for another year. The government, then, cited the need for the armed forces to be available as the census could not be held without their help.
The Supreme Court, however, stressed the importance of holding a census once a decade and ordered for it to be held in March of 2017 under the supervision of the Council of Common Interests.