Enshrined in the law, census retains an important place in the electoral process of democratic countries. Ideally, Pakistan has to launch census in every ten years as said by the law. But, unfortunately, government of Pakistan has been in shambles regarding census issue. Census in Pakistan has been a troublesome affair for the each elected government. Incumbent government of Nawaz Sharif has also failed to resolve the long-standing issue of census since it has been on the driving seat.
The recent sou moto notice by the Supreme Court has also not worked. In fact, census, in Pakistan, has been politicized. The issues related to census are numerous ranging from provincial resentment to migrant issues. The provincial resentment is based on resource sharing formula of federal government.
The formula of resource sharing is fully based on population count which seems inefficient and since last population census 1998; resource sharing is done via a hypothetical population count. The hypothetical population count is flawed. Census retains a more important place than being a mere head count process. Allocation of seats in both National and Provincial assemblies are feasible due to census.
To give a proportional share to all federating units, federal government has to come up with a proper plan to conduct census on time. Or, given the security issues, government shall add territory and lack of development in the resource sharing criteria apart from hypothetical population count.
Zafar Musyani – Khuzdar
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