ISLAMABAD, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan on Wednesday began the long-awaited population and house census across the country under tight security after 19 years, officials said. Last census was conducted in 1998.
The campaign will be completed in nearly two-and-half months and in phases, Chief Statistician Asif Bajwa told reporters after formally inaugurating the campaign in Attock, a main district in Punjab province.
The first phase of the process will continue until April 15 and the second phase will start on April 25 and conclude on May 25.
Army troops are providing protection to the census teams, the military spokesman, Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor has said. He said that two hundred thousand personnel of Pakistan Army will assist the census process.
He said one solider will be deputed with each numerator to ensure smooth and transparent counting and for provision of security.
During the first phase, census process will be completed in 63 districts of the four provinces as well as Pakistan-administered Kashmir and northern areas of Gilgit-Baltistan, according to Bajwa.
In the second phase, census process will be conducted in 21 districts, including the Islamabad Capital Territory.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar ha said that control rooms have been established at federal, provincial, divisional and district levels to monitor and respond to any problem during the census operation.
He emphasized that services of the Armed Forces of Pakistan had been co-opted to work with the civil enumerators for ensuring a transparent and smooth census.
Minister of State for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb has said that 18.5 billion rupees have been allocated for the census while 118,918 enumerators, which are trained government employees, will perform duty during the census assisted by personnel of Pakistan army.