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08/28/2019 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – According to The Express Tribune, the Pakistani Government is continuing to conceal data regarding the population of the country’s religious minorities. Many minority leaders feel this data has not been released purposely in order to keep their communities under-represented in government and other sectors of Pakistani society.

In 2017, Pakistan conducted a nationwide census. The data regarding the country’s religious minority communities, including Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis, and others, was set to be released in March 2018. However, the data regarding these communities has still not been made public.

Speaking with The Express Tribune, Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, a member of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party and Chairman of the National Assembly Standing Committee for Statistics, said, “The figures were expected in March last year. I believe they are still in the pipeline and will be shared soon.

Discussing his thoughts on the sizes of religious minority communities, the PTI lawmaker claimed, “Based on the information from the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), the total number of Hindus in the country may be around eight million.” Vankwani added the he believed that there were also five million Christians and 16,000 Sikhs in Pakistan.

In Pakistan, a number of seats in government and in higher education are set aside for minorities. This means that concealed population data is very important in determining the proper representation of minorities. With the official data regarding religious minorities concealed, the Pakistani Government is able to deny these communities representation in the government and other important sectors of society.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].