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ISLAMABAD: Chief Census Commissioner Asif Bajwa on Monday unveiled the population census plan which will be conducted in two phases.

The first phase will be started from March 15, 2017 under the supervision of armed forces in selected areas. He said 45,000 armed forces personnel would be deputed along with the enumerators. Briefing reporters here, Asif Bajwa said they had asked the provinces to identify sensitive areas which would be handed over to the armed forces for holding the exercise.

However, according to the approved minutes of the Council of Common Interests (CCI), a copy of which is available with The News, “after detailed discussion, the CCI approved the following proposals submitted by the Statistics Division/Pakistan Bureau of Statistics in their summary dated 8th December, 2016 :

a) Census may be held on traditional method using paper based questionnaires starting from 15 March, 2017 as per field operation plan given by Statistics Division.

b) House Listing and Census Operation may be carried out in one go. Form-2 only may be used in the Census Operation, while Form 2-A may be filled in on sample basis, after the Census Operation is over.

c) Census may be held in two phases, each phase may be carried out in all the provinces simultaneously.

d) All relevant stakeholders at Federal and Provincial level may be directed to extend cooperation to PBS during Census Operation”.  However, he said the government had prepared a plan to accomplish the exercise in a phased manner. 

The whole of Balochistan will be covered in phase one while the remaining provinces will be divided into two phases. Fata, AJK and Gilgit Baltistan will be covered in the second phase. The government has selected certain divisions of the country for the phase one exercise.   Peshawar and Mardan divisions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have been selected for phase one under which 2,184 and 1,305 enumerators will count housing and population census respectively under the supervision of army.

The government identified Lahore, Faisalabad, Sargodha and Dera Ghazi Khan from Punjab for phase one under which 6,825, 5,519, 3,457 and 4,196 enumerators were deputed for each division respectively. 

For the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) has deputed 639 enumerators for coverage of 1,278 blocks to undertake the population census exercise under the phase one.

The government has selected Karachi, Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas from Sindh for phase one under which they have deputed 7,118, 4,461 and 1,365 enumerators respectively. The government has selected Quetta, Zhob, Sibi, Naseerabad, Kalat and Markan from Balochistan in the first phase of upcoming population census exercise by deputing 1,064, 649, 579, 540, 1,690 and 429 enumerators respectively.

The CCI had approved the summary to conduct population census from March 15 to May 15, 2017 in two phases with the support of the armed forces. For the second phase, the government has Hazara, Malakand, Kohat, Bannu and D.I Khan from the KP and has deputed 2,643, 2,609, 677, 628 and 651 enumerators respectively. 

The government has selected Fata for the second phase for which the 1,897 enumerators have been assigned to undertake the exercise. For Punjab’s second phase, the government has selected divisions of Gujranwala, Rawalpindi, Bahwalpur, Multan and Sahiwal by deputing 6,488, 4,415, 4,651 and 4,717 enumerators in respective areas.

For Sindh, the government has selected divisions of Larkana, Sukkur and S.B (Shaheed Benazir) Abad by deputing 3,029, 2,580 and 2,040 enumerators respectively. The Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) will be covered in second phase for which the government is going to depute 2008 enumerators. For GB, the government has assigned 623 enumerators to undertake this exercise.

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