Population census to start from March 15

CCI also decides to launch national security fund

Zahid Chaudhary


Council of Common Interests (CCI) at its important meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif here on Friday, decided to kick start long delayed population census from March 15 next year.
The meeting attended by all the four provincial chief ministers decided that the census will be conducted countrywide in two phases and each phase will be carried out in all the provinces simultaneously.
The CCI agreed that the census will be carried out in close coordination of the provincial governments. A committee comprising secretary statistics and four chief secretaries will be constituted to address all the issues related to implementation of the decision.
The decision came after the Supreme Court asked the government to submit a written reply explaining causes of delay in holding census.
A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali heard a suo motu case last month over delay in holding population census in the country. The chief justice observed that democratic system highly depended upon population census.
“There is a huge difference between 1998 and today’s population,” he had observed, adding: “Policies are being made without having any record of the exact number of people in the country.”
The attorney general had assured the apex court that the census will start from March 15 next year.
The last census in Pakistan was held in 1998.
The CCI also decided that a national security fund may be established to deal with terrorism. It was decided that a proposal in this regard will be sent to the National Finance Commission.
Earlier during the meeting, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed his condolence to the families of the Army Public School (APS) martyrs.
“This day (December 16) reminds us of the horrific APS incident,” he said, adding that the whole nation stands with the bereaved families in their times of sorrow.
He said that top leadership of the country decided to take action against terrorism and extremism in the country. “We have no mercy in our hearts for these ruthless murderers who had killed our innocent children,” he said He said that the country has made immense sacrifices and the world is witness to how Pakistan has managed to tackle terrorism.
Prior to the CCI meeting, all the four provincial chief ministers called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

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