ISLAMABAD: World Population Day is observed globally, every year on July 11th. The day marks the need for population control, particularly in developing countries of the world. With a population of around 207 million, Pakistan has the third-highest population in the world, and with an annual growth rate of 1.9% the population would likely double over the next three decades. Considering all this, it’s important to convince the rural people about the need for keeping families small. This means persuading them to adopt birth control measures. Family planning is necessary as all progress made is nullified by the rapid rise in population. The failure to put in place effective birth control measures has resulted in increasing poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition and neutralising the efforts at economic development.
Considering that conservative segments of society are opposed to birth control on their understanding of religion, they also need to be convinced about the importance of family planning. Erroneously they consider birth control as an agenda of the West against Muslims. Hence, legislation to implement birth control alone would not do; the common people and the clergy should be informed of the consequences the country will face within a few years if effective policies for population control are not implemented.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2018.