Pakistan is currently undertaking its first census since 1998. As you know, it's much more common to conduct censuses every 10 years, especially in a country growing as quickly in population as Pakistan. In that period of time Pakistan has grown from 135 million to 190 million--55 million people have been added since the last census! So, this is an important event. So important that the government assigned troops to protect census-takers. Even that turned out not to be enough. Earlier this week a suicide bomber attacked a van carrying census-takers and their military protection team:
A suicide bombing targeted a Pakistani government census team, killing at least six people in the eastern city of Lahore, officials say.The blast on Wednesday morning in Pakistan's second largest city also wounded at least 18 people, many with serious injuries. According to a police report, two attackers on a motorcycle approached a van carrying the census team. One attacker disembarked and exploded his suicide vest as the other sped away. The dead included four military personnel and two civilians.The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan group claimed responsibility, saying it was a suicide attack. "The target seems to be the census team and the soldiers guarding them," Malik Ahmed Khan, a spokesperson for the Punjab government, told local television news channel Geo.Leading up to the census there has been a lot of public discussion in Pakistan about how the results might change electoral districts. However, it is not yet clear whether that had anything to do with the attack itself.