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Curbing Population Growth

According to the UN estimates the current population of Pakistan is 202,241,277, which is equivalent to 2.63% of the total world population. Pakistan ranks number 6 in the list of countries by population. Over the past several decades population of Pakistan has increased significantly as compared to the other regional countries in the region. According to reports the growth rate of Pakistan is about 2.1 percent higher than other regional countries including India, Bangladesh, Srilanka and Nepal. Pakistan is the 6th most populous country of the world, after China, India, USA, Indonesia, Brazil, and surpassed Japan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, South Korea and Russia. According to the latest UN Report, the population of Pakistan would be 300 million in the year 2050. A bulging population is seen as a biggest threat to the country’s existence as the experts believe that if the population of the country continues to grow with the same rate it will ultimately lead to decline of food resources. There are a number of factors responsible for rapid population growth in Pakistan that included the high fertility, lack of family planning, son preference, poverty, illiteracy, lack of women empowerment, and the religious constraints, beliefs and customs prevalent in the society. Although Pakistan had shown great concern for higher population growth and to deal this issue family planning programs were launched from time to time but despite all these efforts no substantial progress has been made in curbing population growth. To tackle this challenge the Council of Common Interests (CCI) has decided to constitute National and Provincial Task Forces to be headed by Prime Minister and Chief Ministers respectively to propose recommendations to tackle this issue which is now termed as the ticking population bomb. The newly established Task Forces will consider the recommendations made by the Task Force constituted earlier on the orders of the Supreme Court (SC) and will submit a comprehensive Action Plan to the CCI, taking into account the future implementation strategy of the Action Plan, the financial aspects and other issues relating garnering support of all segments of society for the success of a comprehensive population control programme. One hopes that the newly established Task Force will take tangible measures to address this issue. Besides taking other necessary steps the government should seek assistance from religious scholars in this regard so that an effective awareness campaign could be launched throughout the country particularly in rural areas where there is lowest use of modern contraceptive methods.

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