Faryal Hanif Goraya

In our country, population census is a constitutional obligation. Population census is held after every 10 years. Our last census was held in 1998. That time our population was 130 million; thereafter it was due in 2008, but unfortunately it was not held and is still due because of the

negligence of government

The government does not know the exact figures of population, which increases by more than 2.5 percent per year. At present Pakistan’s population is approximately more than 200 million.

I would like to draw your attention to the fact that economic & social reforms cannot be undertaken without knowing the exact figures of population. Population control is one of the critical issues of our times.

In underdeveloped countries like Pakistan birth control is considered against culture by some narrow minded people. It is a fact that population explosion is not merely an economic problem but is also a social problem.

Parents who have too many children do not pay attention to their mental, physical and spiritual growth. The result is that their children feel

neglected. They fall victim to different evils. Need of the hour is that the government takes an impartial view of the situation & tackle this problem rationally, and not emotionally.

It is important to mention here that rapid increase in our population is the main cause of social, political and economical problems. Here I quote a report of United Nations Development Programme(UNDP).

One, out of every four Pakistanis, lives below poverty line; one, out of every 10 Pakistanis, does not have access to health services; every second citizen is without safe drinking water; more than three, out of every four Pakistanis, are without access to sanitation and means of entertainment.

The main cause of population explosion in our country is illiteracy. Around 42 million adults are illiterate. They are under the powerful influence of religious clerics who teach that birth control is against the faith, whereas Islamic scholars, around the world, have stated categorically that there are no religious injunctions against birth control.

Still these clerics are powerful, especially in rural areas, where more than 5 percent of the population is not educated.

In fact, Islam itself presents a solution to this problem. In The holy Qura’n, Allah (the Almighty) says:

"And mothers should suckle their children for two whole years" This means an intervening space of three years should elapse between one pregnancy and

another.

It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan cannot be put on the path of progress unless we change our attitudes, control our population and increase food production.

Here I quote examples from China and India: The Chinese government, in 1979, had introduced One Child policy, and they strictly implemented it successfully and build their economy.

Likewise, India, having second largest population in the world, strictly controls its population.

Keeping in view the above mentioned examples, I would like to suggest to

the government, social welfare organisations, religious scholars, non-government organisations and political parties to launch a campaign against increase in population and create awareness among people in this regard.

In these days, print and electronic media play a vital role in creating awareness among masses.

We desire to eliminate poverty, hunger, illiteracy, disease and to provide food, healthcare and education to our future generations. It is hoped the government would take drastic measures to control population explosion.