ISLAMABAD: The Council of Common Interest (CCI) unanimously decided to postpone census and a new date will be finalised after consultation with provincial governments and armed forces.

The CCI met here under the chair of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at PM office on Friday. The matter of census 2016 was discussed in detail during the meeting.

Secretary Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) informed the meeting that in continuation of decision taken in previous CCI meeting held on 29th February 2016 series of meetings were held with provincial governments and armed forces. Since transparency of Census operation was vital for future planning, about 300,000 troops are required to ensure man to man coverage as well as to lend credibility and security to census.

The meeting was informed that due to engagement of Armed forces in operations of Shawal and Zarb-e-Azb the required number of troops cannot be spared at this stage.
The option of having phased census was also discussed during the meeting. However, the meeting was informed by PBS that phased census was desirable due to inherent flaws and in any case it was not in line with international best practices particularly keeping in view some specific factors related to Pakistan which can raise serious contentions on the credibility of the exercise.

The meeting also formed a committee of four Chief Ministers, Minister for Water and Power and Minister for Climate Change to finalise the plan regarding the issue of National Flood Protection.