Sikh Religion Included in Pakistan Census

LAHORE, East Punjab, Pakistan—Following the directions of the Peshawar & Sindh High Court, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics have included the Sikh religion as a distinct religion in the census form.  As per the direction number C.P/D/1760-2017 issued by Sindh High Court, the census authorities were asked  to print the Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Ahmedi, Schedule Caste, Sikh, Persian, Brai, Kailash, Buddhists, Jains in the census forms.

Initially, when the census forms were released in March 2017, Sikh religion was not included.  This led many Sikhs across the country upset.  “We are happy that the [cencus] form now includes the Sikh religion.  Earlier we were feeling left out.  There are many Sikhs in Pakistan and this data will help us get some recognition,” said Kalyan Sikh while speaking with Sikh24 on April 4.

Earlier, during the first phase of the census collection, Sikh religion was included in “others” category.  However, Sikh24 has learnt that the second phase of census in 87 districts of Pakistan is going to start on April 25 and it includes mention of the Sikh religion distinctly.

Sardar Hira Singh, who worked with Pakistan legal authorities to get Sikh religion included in the census form also played a prominent role in mention of Parsi, Buddhist, Baha’i and the Kailash communities.  He welcomed the move and appreciated efforts of the Pakistan Sikh Council.

After independence of Pakistan, Central Statistical Office (CSO) was setup by the Government of Pakistan in 1950 as an attached department of Economic Affairs Division. Since then statistical system was reviewed from time to time by both local and foreign consultants. In 1972, on the recommendation of IBRD Mission, Central Statistical Office (CSO) was upgraded to a full-fledged Statistics Division.

The Division was re-organized in 1981 and its technical wing (the then CSO) was converted into Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS) as one of its attached departments. As a step forward Government of Pakistan has established Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, by merging Federal Bureau of Statistics, the Population Census Organization, The Agriculture Census Organization and the Technical wing of Statistics Division.



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