Sixth population census to be held in March 2016

The last census was held in 1998, 17 years ago against mandatory 10 years.

By Afzal Khan

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Published: Sat 21 Mar 2015, 12:58 AM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 9:10 PM

Islamabad — The Council of Common Interests (CCI), an inter-provincial body, has decided that the sixth population census would be conducted in March 2016 with the support of the armed forces.

The last census was held in 1998, 17 years ago against mandatory 10 years.

The CCI further decided that the housing and population censuses would be conducted at the same time.

Headed by the prime minister, the CCI is the highest decision-making forum between the federation and federating units of Pakistan.

While conducting a population census after every 10 years is a constitutional obligation, the last census took place in 1998.

Holding the CCI meeting after such a long time is itself a violation of the constitution, as under article 154, it must meet once in three months.

Since electoral rolls in the country are updated each time on the basis of the last census, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) wanted to carry out the much-needed delimitation of constituencies for the national and provincial assemblies before the next general election due in 2018.

The first census in Pakistan was conducted in 1951, the second in 1961, and the third in 1972 instead of 1971 due to political turmoil. The fourth census was held in March 1981 and fifth, which was due in 1991, was conducted in March 1998.

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