Not necessary that Karachi's population will be 30m after census: PBS chief statistician

About 9.7 million houses had been geo-tagged in Sindh while in Karachi, 8.5 million people had so far been enumerated

Sunday, March 26, 2023
Officials from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics collect information from a resident as soldiers stand guard during the second phase of the national census in Islamabad, April 25, 2017. — AFP

KARACHI: Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) chief statistician Dr Naeem Uz Zafar said that it is notnecessary that Karachi's population would show as 30 million after the census, The News reported Sunday.

His comments came at apress briefing at the Provincial Census Coordination Centre in Karachi on Saturday, during which he said that about 60%of Pakistan has been enumerated in the ongoing country’s seventh population and house count.

This is the first time fast-growing Pakistan is counting its population digitally. Concerns were raised by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) over the population count in the port city.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari had threatened to quit the ruling alliance and said that the Sindh CM had grave concerns over the ongoing census.

“We had objected to the results of the 2018 census,” he said while terming the digital census in the country a “flawed exercise”.

The chief statistician shared that 140 million people had so far been counted in the country and 40 million houses enumerated and geo-tagged.

In Sindh, he said, 9.7 million houses had been geo-tagged and in Karachi 8.5 million people had so far been enumerated.

For the first time in the history of Pakistan, he claimed, everyone was being counted in the country. He added that the PBS was gathering a treasure of data and it was the responsibility of the government to make the best use of it. He assured that hotels, schools, madrasas, jails, mosques, shops and all other spaces would be counted and geo-tagged in the census.

The enumeration process, he said, would continue until April 4. PBSchief statistician Zafar remarked that there was a posh segment in society that did not want to be counted. He said the census was a mandatory exercise and before the current census, six censuses had taken place in Pakistan, all of which were non-digital.

For mapping and security in the census, Dr Zafar said the PBS had secured the services of the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission, National Database and Registration Authority and National Technology Council.

He said the concerns of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah regarding the census were genuine. He added that the PBS had invited Bilawal several times for a briefing on the census, but due to his commitments as the foreign minister, no such briefing could be held.