Pakistan is the sixth largest country in the world according to population statistics. Since day one, Pakistan has witnessed an upward population growth rate. United Nations speculates that Pakistan will become the third most populated country in the world by the year 2050. Considering the insufficient resources available, such a high population growth rate has serious implications on the lives of Pakistani people in all walks of life. As a developing country, Pakistan has never seen a stable economy.

Besides education, health is another sector where the government does not spend much. Given that government allocates not more than 2-3 % of its budget in the health sector, the issue becomes more complex with the rapid increase in population. Half of Pakistani children suffer from stunting or wasting, or both. According to UN’s report, Pakistan’s ranking is 149 among 188 countries in the first global assessment of countries’ progress towards the United Nations’ health-oriented Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The ranking shows the government’s abysmal performance in the health sector. Along with limited allocated funds to national health, overpopulation is also the root cause of Pakistan’s failure in achieving its goals in public health sector, and will continue to be a major hurdle unless something is done.

Experts are calling the rapid population increase a population bomb. What can one do in a situation like this when resources cannot be increased? The answer is simple; the government should advocate the cause of population control. The need to convince people to maintain small families is imperative. Achieving the SDGs benefits Pakistan more than anyone else; human development is a key component of governance that successive regimes have been found lacking in. Advertising and projecting the issue of overpopulation in the right direction is what the concerned departments need to do. Taking progressive Ulema’s on board, changing the perception of religious circles that dissuade people from family planning is also essential. If necessary steps are not taken to control the rapid population growth of the country, set targets in the health sector cannot be achieved, and the people are bound to suffer a poor quality of life.