Pakistan's Supreme Court, on 19 October, asked the Nawaz Sharif-led federal government to convince it that it is willing to conduct a census in March 2017.
A three-judge bench of the apex court rejected Attorney General Aushtar Ausaf's argument that the government is facing logistical roadblocks in completing the exercise, reports the Express Tribune.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, who headed the bench, said in his order that "the AG has tried to impress upon the circumstances which are not in the control of the government, but we are not at all impressed with his contentions."
The order directed the federal government to come up with "a specific date" on which it will hold the census when the matter is again taken up in a fortnight.
The population census is the biggest peace time logistic exercise, involving the mobilization of about 200,000 manpower including 167,000 enumerators - one for each block - an exercise that will incur an expenditure of Rs 14.5 billion.