Pakistan

Federal government fails to give time frame for population census

supreme-court

ISLAMABAD: Despite repeated orders by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government in the centre failed in providing a definitive time frame on Friday for holding the much-needed headcount in the country.

Ever since the top court took a suo motu notice of the delay for the last almost eight years in the conduct of the population census, it has never been impressed with the government’s reasoning for the delay in conducting the population census.

“If the government is not willing to conduct a census,” the Supreme Court bench advised, “The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) should be closed.”

Showing clear expressions of discontent during the hearing today in Islamabad, Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali said, “What is the need of the state institutions, if the armed forces have to do everything in this country.”

The PBS had earlier submitted a report mentioning a host of reasons for a delay in the conduct of the census, expressing powerlessness in proposing a new time frame due to unavailability of armed forces personnel – already busy in ongoing operations in the country – for deployment at man-to-man level.

Chief Justice Jamali suggested disappointingly that after making few amendments in the constitution of Pakistan, a national task of holding population census should be removed from it.

He said it was a failure of democratically elected governments, both previous and current, to conduct a census in the country.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court ordered the government on Friday to come out with a definitive time frame for holding population census at the earliest.

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