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Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa approves plan to conduct 6th Population and Housing Census in the country

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Crowd (representative image), Pixabay

Islamabad, Jan 28, 2017: Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday approved the plan to support the conduct of the sixth population and housing census in the country.

“COAS (the Chief) approves plan to support conduct of 6th Population & Housing Census. Upto 200,000 troops will be employed while continuing other security responsibilities,” Director General Inter-Services Public Relations Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor said in a statement on Friday.

The first phase of the census would be completed in mid-April, while the second phase is likely to be initiated from April 24 and would end in mid-May. Preliminary results of the national population census would start arriving in June which would be made public accordingly, the sources informed.

While the census was supposed to occur once every 10 years, Pakistan has not had one since 1998. The incumbent government initially agreed to hold the census in March 2015. However, it cited a lack of preparation and delayed it for another year. The government, then, cited the need for the armed forces to be available as the census could not be held without their help.

The Supreme Court, however, stressed the importance of holding a census once a decade and ordered for it to be held in March of 2017 under the supervision of the Council of Common Interests. (IANS)

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US: Supreme Court Blocks Administration’s Effort to Add Citizenship Question on Census

The citizenship question was meant to better enforce the Voting Rights Act

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US, Supreme Court, Citizenship
FILE - Demonstrators protest during a Fair Maps rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court, in Washington, U.S., March 26, 2019. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump responded Thursday to the Supreme Court’s decision to block his administration’s effort to add a citizenship question to the upcoming U.S. census by saying he’d asked his lawyers whether there was a way to delay the nationwide head count.

In a tweet hours after the court announced its decision, Trump said it “seems totally ridiculous” that the government could not question people about their citizenship on the census, which takes place once every 10 years.

The Supreme Court ruled the administration’s explanation — that the citizenship question was meant to better enforce the Voting Rights Act — was “more of a distraction” from the issue than an explanation.

Opponents of the citizenship question say it would intimidate noncitizens into not answering the census, ultimately leaving them underrepresented in Congress.

US, Supreme Court, Citizenship
U.S. President Donald Trump responded Thursday to the Supreme Court’s decision to block his administration’s effort. Pixabay

Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s liberal justices in the 5-4 ruling.

 The nation’s highest court also announced Thursday that it was rejecting a request to intervene in states’ redistricting efforts.  Redrawing the boundaries of voting districts is meant to ensure proportional representation in state legislatures as the population grows and changes locations.

Republicans in the state of North Carolina and Democrats in the state of Maryland have been accused of redrawing the lines of voting districts to keep power in the hands of the ruling party.

The chief justices said manipulation of the electoral map, a practice known colloquially as gerrymandering, is a problem for state governments to solve, not the Supreme Court.

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Thursday was the final day of rulings by the Supreme Court before its summer break. (VOA)