The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the federal government and the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) to include disabled and transgender people in the ongoing population census.
The court directed the PBS to implement the Lahore High Court’s (LHC) decision in this regard, which had directed the bureau to count disabled persons in the ongoing census on Wednesday.
LHC Chief Justice Mansoor Ali Shah had observed that information regarding disability could be easily included in Form 2-A’s Column No3, which pertains to “sex”, by assigning codes for disabled male with 4, disabled female with 5, and transgender with 6.
The apex court expressed its displeasure that the PBS continued citing various issues for not counting disabled persons and transgenders after the census had already begun across the country.
Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nasir, who headed a three-member bench hearing an appeal filed by a group of disabled citizens, asked PBS chief statistician Asif Bajwa what steps had been taken to include disabled people in the census.
Bajwa responded that Form 2-A was being used in the current headcount exercise, while a separate ‘green form’ will be used to collect data about disabled and transgender people three months after the census was over.