Home Contact Us  
   

Pakistan - Articles

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
#5358, 7 September 2017
 
Pakistan: Census Complexities
Rana Banerji
Member, IPCS Governing Council, & former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India
 

After a hiatus of 19 years, Pakistan has been able to undertake its sixth census enumeration only with the help of the army, which guaranteed security not only in difficult terrorism-hit areas of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) but also in areas of endemic sectarian and ethnic conflict like Karachi.

Preliminary census findings reveal that Pakistan’s population has surged to a staggering 207.8 million (207,774,520), showing an increase of 75.4 million people from 1998, when the population was just over 130 million. When the census operation kept getting deferred due to security and political considerations, the World Bank and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) had arrived at rough estimates, assessing Pakistan’s population being somewhere close to 197 million. The results have taken many by surprise, indicating an increase in population at an annual rate of 2.4 per cent annual growth rate (a.g.r.). This abnormally high growth rate should be a matter of concern for all serious population planners.

The census figures do not include any data for Gilgit Baltistan (earlier known as Northern Areas) or Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK; referred to in Pakistan as Azad Jammu & Kashmir). Though the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) did conduct enumeration there, the data has not been made public, ostensibly due to their special (read 'disputed') status.

Rural-Urban Divide
The summary results show that the country’s predominant majority – 132.189 million or 63.6 per cent – still lives in rural areas. This ratio was 65.6 per cent in 1998. The urban population now stands at 75.58 million, which is roughly 36.4 per cent of the country’s population. In 1998, the share of the urban population was 32.52 per cent. The urban population may grow to 40 per cent by 2050 if existing growth rates continue. 30 million people were added to the urban population. Another 112 million would be added by 2050. The growing urbanisation reflects a world-wide trend.

Gender Ratio and Literacy
The male-female ratio was found to be close to the world average of 51:49, coming down slightly from 52:48 in 1998. Literacy data has not been made public so far. In 1998, for males it stood at 54.8  per cent and for females, at 43.02 per cent.

Provinces
Punjab now has 52.9 per cent (down from 55 per cent in 1998) of Pakistan’s total population (110,012,442; a.g.r.: 2.13 per cent). Sind remains unchanged with 23 per cent (47,886,051; a.g.r.: 2.4 per cent). Population growth has been highest in Balochistan (12,344,408; a.g.r.: 3.37 per cent), followed by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (30,523,371; a.g.r.: 2.89 per cent).The lowest population growth (1.81 per cent) was witnessed in rural Punjab - urbanisation might have had a greater role to play here. FATA is now shown to have 5,001,676 persons (not clear if currently displaced; in camps elsewhere in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa enumerated under FATA, the a.g.r. was 2.41 per cent). Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) has 2,006,572 people now (a.g.r.: 4.91 per cent).

These changes will have important repercussions in the distribution of resources and allocation of national assembly seats. Article 51(3) of the constitution will have to be amended in light of Article 51(5), which mandates the allocation of seats on the basis of population in accordance with the last preceding census officially published. This would mean up to eight fewer seats for Punjab in the 342-member National Assembly with 5-6 more seats for Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and almost 3 more for Balochistan.

The next National Finance Commission (NFC) award will have to be announced, with Punjab having to compromise slightly (a 3.3 per cent reduction of its share) in favour of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

Internally displaced tribals and Afghan refugees have added huge numbers in both Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Quetta division alone has shown an almost tripling of the population, from 1.72 million to 4.2 million. Pashtuns may now exceed Baloch in Balochistan, making them numerical losers in their own province. Census data shows a phenomenal decease in their (Baloch) proportion in  northern parts of the province - 2.1 per cent decrease in Zhob and Nasirabad, 1.6 per cent in Kalat division, 1.6 per cent in Sibi, and 0.6 per cent in Makran. In Punjab, Lahore and several other satellite towns like Gujranwala have shown phenomenal growth. There was a lower growth in the Seraiki belt due to out-migration.

Though its overall population share has not changed, Sindh is in a special quandary. It is the most urbanised province with 52.2 per cent of the population in urban areas – this result could disturb the rural-urban quotas of provincial assembly seats and jobs. More resources, jobs, and representation would have to be provided for urban areas. Rural Sindh is going to lose some representation. Urban Sindh is increasingly becoming non-Urdu speaking, with settlers’ onslaught of both Pashtuns from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and FATA, as also the natural influx of Sindhis from rural areas of the province. 68 per cent of Sind’s total population is concentrated in three major cities – Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur.

Though Karachi’s population growth has been stymied by bloody ethnic politics, lawlessness and the prolonged Rangers’ operations, its overall population increased by 60 per cent. The greater the growth of population in Karachi, the worse will be the loss of the numerical strength of Mohajirs. The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), which represents mainly Sindhi rights, will fight against the perceived ‘bias’ of under-representing Sindhis. The Mohajir Qaumi Movement (MQM), now split into several factions, will be reluctant to concede ground to Pashtuns or Sindhis in greater Karachi urban agglomeration. The Awami National Party (ANP) led by Shahi Syed, and Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) will contest support from new Pashtun settlers.

The preliminary census figures have been referred to the Council for Common Interests (CCI), a statutory body under the 1973 constitution. The CCI has now decided that the figures will be further debated in the Inter-Provincial Coordination Committee (IPCC) to devise a strategy about future policy on job quotas, fund allocation and the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) plan of action to adjust/delimit constituencies afresh. The ECP had earlier informed the government that it may hold the next general election on the basis of the new census results if they are finalised in time. The million dollar question now is, when will these changes happen?

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
IPCS Columnists
Af-Pak Diary
D Suba Chandran
Resetting Kabul-Islamabad Relations: Three Key Issues
Can Pakistan Reset its Relations with Afghanistan?
The New Afghanistan: Four Major Challenges for President Ghani
Big Picture
Prof Varun Sahni
Understanding Democracy and Diversity in J&K
When Xi Met Modi: Juxtaposing China and India
Pakistan?s Tactical Nuclear Weapons: The Inevitability of Instability

Dateline Colombo

Asanga Abeyagoonasekera.
Sri Lanka: Moving Towards a Higher Collective Outcome
The Importance of Electing the Best to our Nation's Parliament
Sri Lanka: Toward a Diaspora Re-Engagement Plan
Dateline Islamabad
Salma Malik
Pakistan's Hurt Locker: What Next?
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
India-Pakistan Relations in 2015: Through a Looking Glass
 
Dhaka Discourse
Prof Delwar Hossain
IPCS Forecast: Bangladesh in 2015
18th SAARC Summit: A Perspective from Bangladesh
Bangladesh in Global Forums: Diplomacy vs. Domestic Politics
Eagle Eye
Prof Chintamani Mahapatra
India-US: Significance of the Second Modi-Obama Meet
Has President Obama Turned Lame Duck?
Modi-Obama Summit: Criticism for Criticism?s Sake?

East Asia Compass
Dr Sandip Mishra
India-Japan-US Trilateral: India?s Policy for the Indo-Pacific
China-South Korea Ties: Implications for the US Pivot to Asia
Many ?Pivots to Asia?: What Does It Mean For Regional Stability?
Himalayan Frontier
Pramod Jaiswal
Nepal?s New Constitution: Instrument towards Peace or Catalyst to Conflict?
IPCS Forecast: Nepal in 2015
Constitution-making: Will Nepal Miss its Second Deadline?

Indo-Pacific
Prof Shankari Sundararaman
IPCS Forecast: Southeast Asia in 2015
Indonesia's Pacific Identity: What Jakarta Must Do in West Papua
Modi in Myanmar: From ?Look East? to ?Act East?
Indus-tan
Sushant Sareen
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
Islamic State: Prospects in Pakistan
Pakistan: The Futility of Internationalising Kashmir

Looking East
Wasbir Hussain
Myanmar in New Delhi's Naga Riddle
China: ?Peaceful? Display of Military Might
Naga Peace Accord: Need to Reserve Euphoria
Maritime Matters
Vijay Sakhuja
Indian Ocean: Modi on a Maritime Pilgrimage
Indian Ocean: Exploring Maritime Domain Awareness
IPCS Forecast: The Indian Ocean in 2015

Nuke Street
Amb Sheelkant Sharma
US-Russia and Global Nuclear Security: Under a Frosty Spell?
India's Nuclear Capable Cruise Missile: The Nirbhay Test
India-Australia Nuclear Agreement: Bespeaking of a New Age
Red Affairs
Bibhu Prasad
Countering Left Wing Extremism: Failures within Successes
Return of the Native: CPI-Maoist in Kerala
The Rising Civilian Costs of the State-Vs-Extremists Conflict

Regional Economy
Amita Batra
India and the APEC
IPCS Forecast: South Asian Regional Integration
South Asia: Rupee Regionalisation and Intra-regional Trade Enhancement
South Asian Dialectic
PR Chari
Resuming the Indo-Pak Dialogue: Evolving a New Focus
Defence Management in India: An Agenda for Parrikar
Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan: Implications for Asian Security

Spotlight West Asia
Amb Ranjit Gupta
Prime Minister Modi Finally Begins His Interaction with West Asia*
A Potential Indian Role in West Asia?
US-GCC Summit: More Hype than Substance
Strategic Space
Manpreet Sethi
India-Russia Nuclear Vision Statement: See that it Delivers
Global Nuclear Disarmament: The Humanitarian Consequences Route
Nasr: Dangers of Pakistan's Short Range Ballistic Missile

The Strategist
Vice Admiral Vijay Shankar
Jihadi Aggression and Nuclear Deterrence
The Blight of Ambiguity
Falun Gong: The Fear Within


OTHER REGULAR contributors
Gurmeet Kanwal
Harun ur Rashid
N Manoharan
Wasbir Hussain
Rana Banerji
N Manoharan

Ruhee Neog
Teshu Singh
Aparupa Bhattacherjee
Roomana Hukil
Aparupa Bhattacherjee


 

Browse by Publications

Commentaries 
Issue Briefs 
Special Reports 
Research Papers 
Seminar Reports 
Conference Reports 

Browse by Region/Countries

East Asia 
South Asia 
Southeast Asia 
US & South Asia 
China 
Myanmar 
Afghanistan 
Iran 
Pakistan 
India 
J&K  

Browse by Issues

India & the world  
Indo-Pak 
Military 
Terrorism 
Naxalite Violence 
Nuclear 
Suicide Terrorism 
Peace & Conflict Database 
Article by same Author
Trump's Afghanistan Strategy

Pakistan: The Nawaz Ouster

The ISI and Kulbhushan Jadhav's Second ‚ÄúConfession‚ÄĚ

India-Pakistan: Three Years of Wasted Effort?

Pakistan and the Panama Papers Verdict

In Context: Pakistan's New Army Chief Gen Bajwa

Fragility in Pakistan

Book Review: "Much Ado About Nothing"

Pakistan: Kamalís Dramatic Return and the Fate of MQM-A

Has Peshawar Changed Pakistanís Approach to Tackle Terrorism?

Pakistan: MQM Under Siege

The Military Reshuffle in Pakistan: Is the Army Chief firming up his control?

Pakistan: A Hyper-national Security State

Talks with the Taliban: Endgame for the Military

Pakistan 2013: Civil-Military Relations

Pakistan: The Military Shuffle and Consolidation under the New Chief

Pakistan: The Hakimullah Mehsud Killing

Intrusions along LoC/IB in J&K: Pakistanís Objectives

Pakistan: Who will be the next Army Chief?

Pakistan: Civil-Military Relations and the Instrumentalisation of Political Power

Pakistan: The Abbottabad Commission of Enquiry

B. Raman (1936-2013)

Special Commentary: The Military and Nawaz Sharif in Pakistan

Pakistan Elections 2013: Caretaker Prime Minister & the Election Scenario

Pakistan: The Curious Case of Tahir-ul-Qadri

ADD TO:
Blink
Del.icio.us
Digg
Furl
Google
Simpy
Spurl
Y! MyWeb
Facebook
 
Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
Year 2017
 January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November
 2016  2015  2014  2013  2012  2011  2010  2009
 2008  2007  2006  2005  2004  2003  2002  2001
 2000  1999  1998  1997
 
 

The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) is the premier South Asian think tank which conducts independent research on and provides an in depth analysis of conventional and non-conventional issues related to national and South Asian security including nuclear issues, disarmament, non-proliferation, weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, counter terrorism , strategies security sector reforms, and armed conflict and peace processes in the region.

For those in South Asia and elsewhere, the IPCS website provides a comprehensive analysis of the happenings within India with a special focus on Jammu and Kashmir and Naxalite Violence. Our research promotes greater understanding of India's foreign policy especially India-China relations, India's relations with SAARC countries and South East Asia.

Through close interaction with leading strategic thinkers, former members of the Indian Administrative Service, the Foreign Service and the three wings of the Armed Forces - the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force, - the academic community as well as the media, the IPCS has contributed considerably to the strategic discourse in India.

 
Subscribe to Newswire | Site Map
18, Link Road, Jungpura Extension, New Delhi 110014, INDIA.

Tel: 91-11-4100-1902    Email: officemail@ipcs.org

© Copyright 2017, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.