CENSUSES, POPULATION Pakistan has been less regular than most countries in holding population censuses The first census was held in 1951, four years after the country’s birth The second was held on time, in 1961 The third census-having been delayed for a year because of the crisis in East Pakistan, which lasted through most of 1971, and the war with India fought in December of that year, was conducted in 1972 In 1974, the National Assembly passed the electoral law mandating that a census be held regularly at 10year intervals in order to apportion seats in the national and provincial assemblies With the fourth census, taken in 1981, Pakistan attempted to get back to the 10-year plan However, it was interrupted once again when the country failed to take the fifth census on time, in 1991 It was scheduled three times, but was postponed every time The first two postponements were due to political reasons The last postponement was in October 1997 at the behest of the armed forces

The military wished to expand the scope of the census to include the gathering of information for defense purposes The census was finally conducted in March 1998 with the active participation of the armed forces See also CENSUS OF 1941; CENSUS OF 1951; CENSUS OF 1961; CENSUS OF 1972; CENSUS OF 1981, CENSUS OF 1998

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