Pakistan: Population, housing census this year

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ISLAMABAD: Chief Census Commissioner Khizar Hayat Khan said here on Saturday population and housing census will be held across the country including the troubled NWFP this year.

Chairing the meeting of first task force on census, Mr Khizar Hayat Khan said that in the first phase house listing operation would be held in April 2010, whereas in the second phase population census would be carried in October 2010.

The meeting was informed that the summary in this regard had been moved to the Prime Minister. Both the censuses were originally scheduled to be held in March 2009 but delayed mainly due to law and order situation in the country.

Later the census was scheduled to be held in October 2009. As army was not free to assist in conducting the census it was postponed in the meeting of Inter Provincial Coordination Committee held under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister. The first task force also reviewed the revised schedule of upcoming Population and Housing Census.

The Chief Census Commissioner said that census is the biggest field exercise in the country involving the mobilisation of 175,000 personnel.

"Like previous censuses the next census would be conducted through door to door enumeration," he said and the revised schedule for the upcoming census has been proposed to the Prime Minister.

Mr Khan said that in a meeting that Governor NWFP had already assured to extend support for conducting census in October 2010 and house listing in April 2010.

The task force observed that initial work ahead of census includes consultation with the stakeholders, preparation of rural and urban area maps, delimitation of census areas. The formulation of census questionnaires has already been finalised.

The task force meeting was attended by representatives of various UN agencies. United Nations Population Fun (UNFPA) country representative Daniel B. Baker assured support of UN agencies in strengthening the capacity of Population Census Organisation for conducting an accurate census.

UNFPA Coordinator Muqaddar Shah informed about the support extended by the UN agencies for the development of census work which included trainings and capacity building efforts.

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