PM Must Extend The Closing Date For Census: Centre For Social Justice

PM Must Extend The Closing Date For Census: Centre For Social Justice
Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) that has been involved in observing the census process for the past one month with volunteers across Pakistan. CSJ has urged Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif to extend the closing date of census to ensure everyone is counted in the process and to avoid the consequences of previous census.

Peter Jacob, executive director of CSJ hoped that the PM Shahbaz Sharif to look into their requests for extending the date of census, “The date must be extended to review and ensure that the issues are addressed immediately and build trust in the process and the final results.”

PBS had announced to close the census on April 4 2023 but many areas have not been counted. PBS giving an open call/advertisement for identification of missed out areas will not be helpful, the district administration must be mobilised to ensure that all blocks are covered.

Earlier the CSJ through a letter, raised concerns with Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) regarding the ongoing census. CSJ’s observed that the ongoing process displayed a weak preparation, insufficient staff and training of field enumerators, the enumerators missed out questions about Persons with Disabilities, religious identity, mother tongue and Transgender while also collecting the data on unauthorized paper forms. Which meant that data entries on thee tablets could be assumptions hence the output might fail to show the true picture of demography.

Issues faced in geo-tagging, data entry and retrieval of Unique Token Number with regards to self-registration. The questionnaire does not cater to Kashmiri language among the options for languages spoken in Pakistan.

The communication emphasized that the government has made a huge investment of time and resources, besides political parties, the minority communities have showed reservations on the ongoing census and suspect that the census result may not show a true reflection of their demography.