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QUETTA: Census staff on Friday began a population count amid tight security in the border villages of Killi Luqman and Killi Jahangir, which Afghan forces attacked on May 5 after claiming that the two villages lay in their territory.

The residents of both villages vacated their homes and relocated to other places following the attack. Although they have not yet returned, the authorities made announcements requesting families to send a representative to register their families in the count.

Afghan forces had attacked the census staff and security personnel in the two villages.

Quetta General Officer Commanding Maj Gen Abid Latif Khan visited Qila Saifullah in view of the census on Friday.

Area Commander Brigadier Bilal Ali briefed the GOC about the census exercise in the area. Accompanied by senior officers of the local administration, Maj Gen Latif Khan observed the census process and met the census team.

He said they must be committed to completing the task, and urged them to take all steps to ensure transparency and impartiality in the process. “Civil and military institutions are making all-out efforts to make the census process completely impartial,” he said.

Published in Dawn, May 20th, 2017