ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is set to conduct its first national census in 19 years for which it will deploy nearly 200,000 troops.
Army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor and Minister of State for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb addressed a joint conference about preparation for the sixth census, which will be conducted in two phases and will be completed on May 25. The national census will be conducted from Wednesday.
"The census would be conducted with the assistance of over 200,000 troops," Ghafoor said. He said at least one soldier will accompany each civilian enumerator going from house to house to enlist the number of households and individuals living there. The soldiers will not only provide security but help in verification of data collected by the enumerators.
Aurangzeb said that administrative and security arrangements have been made for the population and housing census. "The number of the civilian staff taking part in the census is 118,918. They are all government servants from various departments and thoroughly trained for the job," Aurangzeb said. She said that the first phase will start from March 15 and conclude on April 15. After a ten-day gap, the second phase will start from April 25 and conclude on May 25. She said that Rs 18.5 billion has been allocated for the census.
The Minister of State said the holding of the census will help appropriate allocation of funds and other resources at right places. Aurangzeb said that there will be imprisonment of six months and Rs 50,000 fine if wrong information is given. Islamabad last conducted a census in 1998, which recorded a national population of approximately 180 million at that time.