Two years after it counted population, Pakistan silent on minority numbers

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Divya Goyal

More than two years after conducting its population census in 2017, Pakistan has failed to release the data pertaining to minority communities – Hindus, Sikhs, Christians etc.


According to the data available on the website of its official census conducting body – Pakistan Bureau of Statistics – the total population of the country has been pegged at 20.77 crore. However, the religion-wise data hasn’t been revealed yet. Sources said that the deadline for publishing the data was March 2018.

As per the 1998 census – the last census and currently, the only official data available – the minority community constituted 3.72 per cent of Pakistan’s total population.
The 1998 census pegged total population of the country at 13.23 crore. The ‘Population by Religion’ data of that census puts Muslim population at 12.74 crore (96.28 per cent), Christians at 21.04 lakh (1.59 per cent) and Hindus at 21.17 lakh (1.60 per cent). Other groups included 0.22 per cent Qadiani [Ahmadis] (2.91 lakh), 0.25 per cent Schedule Castes (3.30 lakh) and 0.07 per cent Others (92,646).

Of this, Sindh had maximum Hindu population (6.51 per cent) and Islamabad had maximum Christians (4.07 per cent).

No separate data was provided for Sikh community in 1998 census too, as per the official website.

Speaking to The Indian Express over phone, Dr Ramesh Vankwani, member National Assembly in Pakistan from Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party and also patron-in-chief of Pakistan Hindu Council, said, “Pakistan’s latest population census was conducted in 2017 but data for minority count is still awaited. We are also waiting.”

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