This is with reference to Tallat Azim's article, “Harmful population growth" (July21). It is eminently realistic to aim for a 6 percent growth in the economy. I can see nothing catastrophic in a two percent population growth accompanied by a 6 percent growth in the economy. Problems like maternal mortality can be tackled regardless of whether the population grows or not. A more pressing problem is decline in population. Look at what is happening to Germany and Japan with their declining population. The trend has not missed Muslim countries. Fertility in many Muslim countries has fallen below replacement level. This includes Turkey, Iran, UAE, Lebanon, and Bahrain. After some time, the population of these countries will begin to decline. This has serious geo-political implications. I hope Pakistan does not join the list of these nations.

ASAF ALI SHAH,

Lahore, July 22.