Census is overdue, asserts Federal Minister for Human Rights Kamran Micheal. He said that last census was conducted also by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, during his last tenure as the Premier back in 1998. He said that census must be conducted well before every time elections are piloted.
Prior to the 1998 Census, a census was done back in 1981 under a martial law, which was deemed controversial too. Despite the fact that census was due in 2008, the exercise was avoided even though preparations were undertaken in 2008 and in 2010.
Kamran Michael told local newspaper that the commitment of PM Minister Nawaz directed the concerned authorities to conduct a census as soon as possible. He said that for this purpose, finances were allocated and all the required material was arranged nonetheless, the “exercise was delayed due to the non-availability of armed forces, which were already busy with Operation Zarb-e-Azb.”
“Now, as the federal government has assured the court to hold the census in March, I am confident that again the credit for census would go to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who always takes big challenges and plays the role of a statesman.”
“As I have already explained that while Operation Zarb-e-Azb has achieved significant gains and 80 percent of its objectives have already been achieved, we are quite confident that required troops would be available for the census. We plan to conduct it in phases and hope to secure the process with minimum personnel.”
“Since the prime minister has showed his commitment to this national objective, nobody should be cynical as jumping the gun never helps. We should understand that the armed forces have played a key role in achieving the targets set under the Operation Zarb-e-Azb and since the army wanted to consolidate its gains, we should appreciate their efforts for long-term peace in the country.”