The census is being conducted in Pakistan after two decades. It is good to calculate the population, the resource-to-population ratio, households and expenditures. However, it is unfortunate that Balochistan might suffer the most in terms of resource allocation as the census might count the Afghan refugees residing in the province as citizens. This will mean the Balochis will have to compete with the refugees for seats at institutions, government offices and other aspects of life. Moreover, given the rugged terrain and constant war-like state of the province, the census will fail to include the entire population in the count as people from the mountainous, insecure and inaccessible areas will remain left out.
While politicians from Balochistan, including the former chief minister Dr Abdul Malik, have raised concerns over these issues, the picture appears bleak. It is hoped that the federal and provincial governments will exclude Afghan refugees from the counting and will send the teams conducting the census to every nook and corner of Balochistan.