MIRPUR (AJK)   -  Like rest of the world, World Population Day was observed in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Thursday with renewal of pledge to perform individual and collective role to discourage negative impacts of growing population in the country including AJK.

The prime objective of observing population day was to raise awareness among the masses regarding dignity, honour, and empowerment of women and health of mother and child for a healthy and prosperous society.

“Family planning is a fundamental right of all segments of society,” experts said while addressing the participants of a walk hosted by the office of the Population Welfare Department here.

Special programs such as walks, seminars, and symposiums were the hallmark of the day that observed throughout AJK. The World Population Day is observed on July 11 every year the world over in the light of the charter under the manifesto of the United Nations to highlight the drastic effects of the increased population besides for the due role of the governments and the society for flourishing prosperous and healthy population with delivery due amenities of life.

The day was marked with special ceremonies held under the auspices of the Population Welfare Department of AJK led by the sitting Secretary to the government Raja Razaq Khan, in all ten districts of AJK with the resolve to maintain due care of mother and child through ensuring brief family with prime focus to overcome the threats of rapidly-increased population in the country including AJK.

World Population Day, which seeks to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues, was established by the then-Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989, an outgrowth of the interest generated by the Day of Five Billion, which was observed on 11 July 1987.

This year’s World Population Day calls for global attention to the unfinished business of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development.

Twenty-five years have passed since that landmark conference, where 179 governments recognized that reproductive health and gender equality are essential for achieving sustainable development.

On World Population Day, advocates from around the world are calling on leaders, policymakers, grassroots organizers, institutions and others to help make reproductive health and rights a reality for all.

In Mirpur, a grand walk to mark the world population day was held to mark the day. District Population Welfare Officer Kamran Hussain, Deputy Medical Superintendent DHQ Hospital Dr. Azeem Ratayal, Incharge RHSCA Dr. Aaliya Imtiaz, Incharge MSU Dr.

Amira Butt and the senior staffers of the local population welfare department office led the walk which passed through the city streets. A large number of people belonging to various segments of the society including social workers, journalists, doctors, paramedical staff and others participated.

Speakers underlined that the importance of the role of all sections of the society and the concerned state run institutions to perform their due role for raising awareness among the people about education and empowerment of women, health and balance between increased population and resources.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in his message of World Population Day on Thursday “The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is the world’s blueprint for a better future for all on a healthy planet. On World Population Day, we recognize that this mission is closely interrelated with demographic trends including population growth, ageing, migration and urbanization.”