Victims and Rolexes

Letter May 17, 2010

BAHAWALPUR: This is with reference to Wajahat S Khan’s article ‘Victims and Rolexes’ (May 14). There is really only one truly existential threat to Pakistan and that is the demographic. Forget the Taliban, water, power, politics… we are dying of babies. To convert the youth bulge into something positive would require a massive turn-around in the way we structure our budgets, the size of our armed forces, how much we spend on education and health and a host of other things that need to be done different. I forget the date at which we are set to double in population, but it is less than 20 years. Creeping desertification, drought, famine, increased salinity and a steady decline in the area that can be effectively farmed are all going to conspire together to make our life as a nation short and miserable. Are we going to be able to stop or reverse this? Probably not. Damage limitation is perhaps the best we can hope for.