IN what could be called as big step forward, the country is about to commence digital census which will be the first in Pakistan’s history.
At a news briefing on Friday, Chief Statistician Dr Naeem Uz Zafar the exercise will begin in March and will be completed in April.
In the past when the technology was not in vogue, the census used to be a very big exercise requiring a large number of enumerators to count the people and the houses.
However, now the use of technology is definitely going to make a big difference in terms of efficiency, transparency and cost effectiveness.
It is a matter of satisfaction that the whole system for digital census has been built indigenously and cooperation of NADRA in this regard is also highly appreciable.
The census is an important national activity that is linked with resource allocation to provinces, representation in national and provincial assemblies and the delimitation process.
Therefore, the credibility of the census is of utmost importance and we are confident that digital census will ensure it.
It is really unfortunate that our past census figures have always been disputed.
We believe the use of technology and Geographic Information System (GIS) based monitoring will leave little room for anybody to raise fingers on its results.
We understand collection of data by this way will also help the authorities concerned to better deal with calamities in future.
Given the current political situation in the country, it is really important that the exercise is completed within the given time frame.
For this purpose, the government must extend full support to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics and provide it the necessary funds so that it could proceed as per the schedule.
Any delay will only trigger more doubts and suspicions and also make it difficult for the Election Commission of Pakistan to carry out delimitation of constituencies for the next general election.