Pakistan is set to conduct its first national census in 19 years, which will begin on Wednesday, with the assistance of over 2,00,000 troops.
Army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor and Minister of State for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb addressed a joint conference about preparation for the sixth census, which will be conducted in two phases, and will be completed on May 25.
The national census will be conducted from Wednesday.
"The census would be conducted with the assistance of over 200,000 troops," Ghafoor said.
He said at least one soldier will accompany each civilian enumerator going from house to house, to enlist the number of households and individuals living there.
The soldiers will not only provide security, but also help in verification of data collected by the enumerators.
Aurangzeb said that administrative and security arrangements have been made for the population and housing census.
“The number of the civilian staff taking part in the census is 1,18,918. They are all government servants from various departments and thoroughly trained for the job,” Aurangzeb said.
She said that the first phase will start from 15 March and conclude on 15 April. After a ten-day gap, the second phase will start from 25 April and conclude on 25 May. She said that Rs 18.5 billion have been allocated for the census.
The Minister of State said the holding of the census will help appropriate allocation of funds and other resources at right places. Aurangzeb said that there will be an imprisonment of six months and a fine of Rs 50,000 if wrong information is given.
Islamabad last conducted a census in 1998, which recorded a national population of approximately 180 million at that time.