ISLAMABAD: On the one hand the government is struggling to control swelling population in the country and on the other hand the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has issued a notice to TV channels and radio stations to stop telecasting and broadcasting ads related to family planning and child spacing.

While taking ‘notice of complaints’ against an advertisement flashed on TV channels, PEMRA has issued directives to TV channels not to air advertisements, content and other related material regarding family planning and birth spacing, as, according to the regulatory authority such ads were having negative impact on tender and gentle minds of youth and children.

According to the PEMRA notification, legal action would be taken against media organizations if they violated the ban.

In Pakistan, the clergy and a certain section of society consider family planning and birth spacing ‘un-Islamic’ and clerks continue to issue decrees opposing family planning with tooth and nail. This opposition often obstructs the government and health authorities’ efforts in controlling the exploding population, which has become a ticking bomb for the country, which is reeling under the burden of overpopulation, which, in return, is putting a constant strain on the shrinking resources.

Media plays an important role in creating awareness about family planning and birth spacing and other vital health issues and if they (media) were barred from discussing family health, family planning and other related issues and airing advertisement on child spacing, the small amount of message on the issue will fizzle out and the government and health authorities would only struggle to get their message convey to the people regarding unintending birthe.

 

In Pakistan, most people shy away from consulting doctors or adopting safety measures for birth control and the recent ban by PEMRA may rub the salt on the wounds of the beleaguered health authorities especially lady health workers and lady health visitors, who play a crucial role in creating awareness about family planning and birth conrol.   

The rapid growth in population is a major problem confronting Pakistan as it lies at the centre of the country’s social, economic and political problems and keeping these in mind, the population explosion can be termed the biggest problem facing the country today.

According to a United Nations report Pakistan was among six of the 10 largest countries in the world whose population has been projected to exceed 300 million by 2050.