ATTOCK - United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) observers visited various urban and rural areas of Hassanabdal to monitor the first phase of the sixth population census and its alignment with the international standard.

UNFPA observer Uzoma Okoye along with national observers including Dr Naushin Memood and Dr Rafeeq Chandio visited urban areas of Mohallah Takkia and Mohallah Housing Colony as well as rural areas of Jallo and Khaliqdad. Attock Deputy Commissioner Rana Akbar Hayat and Assistant Commissioner Mujahid Abbass were also present. The observers praised the ongoing process and got details from officials of the Federal Bureau Statists about the obstacles they were facing during the door-to-door enumeration drive.

In the first phase, the census is being carried out in 16 districts of Punjab, eight districts of Sindh, 14 districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 15 districts of Balochistan, five districts of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, five districts of Gilgit-Baltistan and one agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

The first phase would continue till April 15 and the second phase will commence from April 25 to May 25.

Talking to newsmen, Assistant Commissioner Mujahid Abbas while quoting the UN observers said that the team expressed its satisfaction over the arrangements put in place for the census and data collection. He said that the officials engaged for the census have been doing duty satisfactorily and it was now the responsibility of the citizens to play their role to make the drive a success.

Meanwhile, Pakistan United Christian Movement Chairman Albert David has said that it was high time to give Christians their due rights and political parties should not confine them to minority wings in their party fold.

While talking to newspersons during his visit to UP Church, David said that the population of Christians was over 8 million and they wanted to play a significant role in the development of the country while maintaining their separate identity. He demanded that the political parties must own them as political workers and give them a place in central executive bodies.

“We have been playing a vital role in the development of Pakistan since independence and we must be given a significant role,” he said

He said that the minority was having 10 seats in the National Assembly in 1985 and the number is the same today despite the fact that the lower house has been expanded to 342 seats.

Albert said that the Christians were against extremism, terrorism and bad governance as they were the issues being faced by every common Pakistani.