Altaf Hamid Rao.


Delegation of IDP, Civil society organization calls on AJK CEC,



MIRPUR (AJK),    (Parliament Times) :   A delegation of International Development Partner and civil society organization called on Chief Election Commissioner of Azad Jammu & Kashmir Justice (Retd) Abdul Rashid Sulehria and Member Election Commission Raja Muhammad Farooq Niaz in the State Metropolis on Wednesday and apprised them on “Engagement of Candidate for upcoming AJK Legislative Assembly Election-2021’ regarding the challenge of alarming population growth in line with the suo moto notice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan dated 4th July, 2018, declaring alarming population growth as the biggest challenge for Country’s development and acknowledging Family Planning as Human Right issue.

The delegation, comprising comprising Dr. Jamil Ahmed, Program Specialist UNFPA, Syed Kamal Shah, CEO Family Planning Association of Pakistan (FPAP) and Raja Muhammad Razzaque, Consultant to support Govt. of Azad Jammu & Kashmir on alarming population growth in the State, apprised the Election Commission regarding constitution of a Task Force to frame clear, specific and actionable recommendations to address the issue.

Raja Muhammad Razzaque, Retired Secretary to Government of AJ&K, Legal & Public Policy Advisor and Consultant Population & Development, later told this Correspondent here Wednesday evening that the Task Force, after a series of meetings, had framed a set of recommendations which subsequently were approved by Council of Common Interest (CCI) in principle, on 19th November, 2018.

The delegation while apprising the adversities related with rapidly growing population, highlighted direct negative implications for adverse climate change, environment degradation, deforestation and above all, the decline in water availability per capita — putting Pakistan in water stress situation, he said. Besides, food security and the country’s sustainable development prospects are too in great threats, he underlined the issues, the delegation discussed with the CEC and the Member of the AJK Election Commission.

“The delegation further apprised that these recommendations are now being implemented by the Federal, Provincial and Regional Governments with active support from Private Sector, Civil Society Organisations and International Development Partners. The CCI recommendations, in all, are grouped under eight specific areas which were explained to the Election Commission”, Razaq said.

“Based on this national issue which needs coherent approach for its logical resolution, the delegation shared its plan to bring the heads of political parties and potential candidates of AJK Legislative Assembly onboard regarding the challenges of alarming population growth in Pakistan and AJK, enabling them to enter in the Assembly with clear vision regarding the said challenge, Razaq said.

The delegation further apprised that similar approach was carried out during recent elections in Gilgit-Baltistan and as a result most of the elected Members (majority of them are now Ministers) came in the Assembly with a clear roadmap for addressing the challenging of rapid population growth, the retired Secretary Population Welfare of AJK stated.

“Both the Chief Election Commissioner AJK and the Member greatly appreciated the approach of the international development partner and the civil society organization’s support for addressing the challenge of rapid population growth in the Pakistan and AJK in line with the vision of Pakistan’s CCI recommendations and ensured for all possible support within the legal framework to the activity aimed at addressing the challenge”, Raja Razaq said.


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