Questionable Census

M Rafique Zakaria
Via Email

Census 2017 is being carried out in the country after a gap of 19 years with the help of civilian volunteers and the army. A week before the census took off, one political party expressed its concern about the census details ordered to be filled in pencil in Sindh province. The political party used social media and other means of communication to make people aware of this and urged them not to let census staff fill any detail in pencil.
This was followed by another objection raised by certain quarters that the census form does not have provision for transgender. Last but not the least, the Sikh community living in Pakistan has raised its concern that the census form does not have their community’s name mentioned in religion column of census form. I have few questions for the government regarding Census 2017: Whom did the government assign the task of preparing the census form?
Why did those assigned with the task ignored the transgender and Sikh community? If those assigned with this Herculean task were not capable enough to accept this challenge, why the census form was not discussed in parliament or brought in media for discussion? Format of the census form could have been floated in public domain for people’s valuable feedback. Government will be spending billions of rupees of the exchequer to conduct census in the country only to yield questionable results. Job half done is job not done at all.

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