The first nationwide digital census is scheduled to get underway next month. It is a midterm census for which the condition of CNIC has been waived off, and the military’s role has been reduced to security affairs.
The relevant authorities would do well to take into consideration the apprehensions expressed by professionals and civil society activists at a recent seminar organised by the Sindh Coordination Council.
The elementary issues of transpa-rency and correct headcount need to be given primary value at a time when over a couple of million houses stand damaged and more than 12 million people displaced in Sindh owing to the massive floods that turned life inside out last year.
Besides, there is the matter of thousands of illegal immigrants, especially Afghans who roam the streets of Karachi and other urban centres. It is primarily the responsibility of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics to establish the credibility of the whole process, otherwise, it will be a futile exercise and a sheer waste of public money.
Dr Mehboob Shaikh
President, Sindh Coordination Council