The Supreme Court of Pakistan has ordered for holding the population census within two months – from March 15 to May 15, 2017. Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Anwar Zaheer Jamali said that the census does not seem to be taking place and it seems as if no other way is left before us except summoning the prime minister.

“If the census has not to be conducted then amendment will be made in the constitution. The government has no intention to hold population census and holding the election without a population census is a joke with people,” he said.

“National policies are being formulated in the air. No one knows about the number of people living in the country. No political party has come to the court on this national issue. The arrangements should be completed by the start of March. The national census should be completed within two months from March, 15 to May, 15, 2017 as two months are enough for it,” Jamali said.

The chief justice lashed out at the government over passage of several months since the apex court took the suomotu notice on the matter and added that the constitutional institutions are being not taken seriously – for which he gave the following examples: ‘Look at the Sindh Public Service Commission (SPSC) who made appointments against merit. Seven people tendered their resignations when the court took notice over the 4,000 meritless appointments were made’.

Jamali gave these remarks while presiding over a 3-member bench of the apex court during the course of hearing of suomotu case of population census on Thursday.

Justice Amir Hani Muslim said that if the date is not given, then the prime minister should come in the court to explain the government’s position on the schedule – duly signed by the prime minister – and present it in the next hearing