Govt all set for CCI meeting to decide on census results

An official from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics collects information from a resident during a census as security personnel guard them in Peshawar.— AFP
An official from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics collects information from a resident during a census as security personnel guard them in Peshawar.— AFP
  • Digital census results might be approved in case of delay in polls.
  • Karachi sees rampant complaints of undercounting in census.
  • Nadra provides technical cooperation for software for testing.

ISLAMABAD: The government is all set to convene a meeting of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) to hold deliberation on census results before the completion of its tenure next month, The News reported.

There is a chance that the government tables the results of the digital population census before the body makes a final decision.

After the results are presented, there are three possibilities.

  • The results may be scrapped in the wake of serious flaws to be identified by the stakeholders during the CCI meeting, or they get approved.
  • There can be consequences for delaying the elections in the wake of the delimitation exercise.
  • There could be the formation of a committee to resolve the lingering disputes and find out a solution acceptable to all the stakeholders.

However, each possibility has its own consequences.

If there is any plan for delaying the general elections at any level, the digital census results might be approved.

In case the CCI grants its approval even after the completion of the tenure of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led regime, there might be chances of delaying the elections for four to five months.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) might say it would require a few months to undertake the delimitation exercise in accordance with the CCI-approved census results.

The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) has accomplished the task of conducting a Post Enumeration Survey (PES) to verify the first-ever results of the digital population census in selected blocks of 48 districts.

The PBS selected 2,500 blocks in the country to recheck the counting in order to give credibility to this exercise. Some results of the latest population census were quite unique and interesting in Balochistan areas having large populations of Baloch nationals.

There are complaints of over-counting in rural parts of Sindh. In urban parts of the province, especially in Karachi, there were rampant complaints over less counting of populations.

The dates of the stipulated timeframe of the census were extended, and the PES was finally conducted. But its results could not be ascertained, triggering chances of controversy.

“Now, the PBS has been assigned to prepare results of the population census till July 31, 2023, and then it might be tabled before the CCI in the first week of August,” official sources confirmed while talking to The News on Tuesday.

The Census Monitoring Committee (CMC) had instructed to conduct PES from July 8, 2023. It was decided to conduct the PES in the remaining three districts of Kohistan and snow-bound areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan from July 8.

The PES got completed within 15 days. The work plan, methodology and sample design for conducting the survey by using Stratified Sampling Technique was also approved by the Census Monitoring Committee.

In the PES, Nadra provided technical cooperation for software for the purpose of testing.


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