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The Balochistan High Court on Tuesday directed the federal and provincial governments not to include Afghan refugees in the population census scheduled to start from March 15.

The divisional bench of the BHC comprising Justice Muhammad Hashim Khan Kakar and Abdullah Baloch passed the order on an application filed by the leader of Balochistan National Party (BNP), Ghullam Nabi Marri.

Marri had argued in his application that a large number of Afghan refugees were living in Balochistan for more than three decades. He feared the inclusion of Afghan refugees in the upcoming census and expressed concern over demographic changes in Balochistan.

The BHC also directed the concerned quarters to include the internally displaced persons (IDPs) from various parts of Balochistan in the census.

Marri had pointed out that a large number of Baloch tribesmen were displaced as result of unrest in various districts of Balochistan during the last 15 years.

Like in other parts of the country, census is going to commence in 15 districts of Balochistan from March 15 (tomorrow).

Apart from police and levies, personnel of armed forces are going to be deployed to ensure peace on the eve of census. Security has been tightened in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan.