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In pictures: Census teams go door-to-door for Pakistan's first nationwide headcount in 19 years

Politically-charged population count begins amid heavy security as more than 300,000 people collect data door-to-door.
Updated Mar 15, 2017 08:56pm

Pakistan's largest-ever population census kicked off on Wednesday in 63 districts of the country after a delay of 19 years.

Thousands of enumerators accompanied by some 175,000 army personnel began the enormous, politically charged count today. The weeks-long process will deploy a team of more than 300,000 people and involve 55 million forms — as well as a second, separate form distributed by the military.

Emotions continue to run high with qualms about how the entire exercise of counting heads and homes will pan out.

The first census in the country was conducted in 1951, the second in 1961, the third in 1972, instead of 1971 due to political turmoil, and the fourth in 1981. The fifth census, which was due in 1991, was conducted in March 1998 with the help of the army.

Under the constitution, the government is bound to conduct a census every 10 years.

Explore: Pakistan's 6th census: A third sex, nine languages, many faiths

Officials from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics collect information from residents during a census in a narrow street in Karachi. — AFP
Officials from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics collect information from residents during a census in a narrow street in Karachi. — AFP

An enumerator marks a house after collecting information from a resident during a census in Karachi. — AFP
An enumerator marks a house after collecting information from a resident during a census in Karachi. — AFP

Cameramen and photographers document as a census enumerator enters in a building during Pakistan's 6th population census in Karachi. —Reuters
Cameramen and photographers document as a census enumerator enters in a building during Pakistan's 6th population census in Karachi. —Reuters

A woman interacts with an official from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics as an army soldier stands guard in Lahore. — AFP
A woman interacts with an official from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics as an army soldier stands guard in Lahore. — AFP

A government official collects data from a resident during a survey in Karachi. —AP
A government official collects data from a resident during a survey in Karachi. —AP

Another enumerator marks a house as a resident looks on during country's enormous, politically charged census. ─AFP
Another enumerator marks a house as a resident looks on during country's enormous, politically charged census. ─AFP

Officials from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics wait for resident outside a house to collect information during the census as an army soldier stands guard in Karachi. —AFP
Officials from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics wait for resident outside a house to collect information during the census as an army soldier stands guard in Karachi. —AFP

An enumerator marks a house after collecting information from a resident during a census as army soldier stands guard in Lahore. —AFP
An enumerator marks a house after collecting information from a resident during a census as army soldier stands guard in Lahore. —AFP

A census enumerator notes details from a resident during Pakistan’s 6th population census in Karachi. ─Reuters
A census enumerator notes details from a resident during Pakistan’s 6th population census in Karachi. ─Reuters

A herd of goats passes by as a government official collects data from a resident for the census in Karachi. —AP
A herd of goats passes by as a government official collects data from a resident for the census in Karachi. —AP

Pakistani employees of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics and the headquarters of Population Census 2017, speak on public helplines to give information about census in Islamabad. — AFP
Pakistani employees of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics and the headquarters of Population Census 2017, speak on public helplines to give information about census in Islamabad. — AFP