During a recent farmers’ convention in Dera Ismail Khan, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that if the population of Pakistan continues to grow at the same pace, the country will face significant challenges. Food insecurity would rise along with poverty. The situation will make resource sharing all the more difficult. Unfortunately, both the past and the present governments have failed to curb the population surge.
Religious parties and scholars have often claimed that family planning and contraception are Western propaganda that aim to reduce the number of Muslims around the world. To avoid backlash from religious factions, neither the federal nor the provincial government has made any wide-reaching efforts to promote family planning and control the population growth. Consequently, the population has increased almost eight-fold since the independence. Currently, Pakistan has one of the highest population growth rates in South Asia. If the government continues to ignore this, Pakistan will soon be facing many wicked challenges. High population will be met with poverty, which will increase crime rates, put a strain on the countries resources, and ultimately result in starvation and famine.
It is extremely necessary for the government to prioritise the need to control population growth. For this, sustainable policies and measures need to be enforced in order to curb growth rates across the country. People should be informed about the risks involved in having too many children, and family planning needs to be encouraged. These measures should be implemented in both urban and rural areas. The government should tailor content according to different areas so that people can understand better. These measures are necessary to help avert the risk of poverty and starvation in the future.
Riaz Ahmed Soomro
Published in The Express Tribune, September 28th, 2021.