Sir: It has been reported that Pakistan is now home to 200 million plus people as per the provincial results of country’s first census after more than a decade.
At the same time,there is currently a controversy going on; some segments of the census results are allegedly not accurate and the actual figures are much higher than the ones reported. The critical point here is that whatever the total may be the harsh reality of Pakistan’s population crossing the 200 million mark is true. It is also reported that Pakistan is set to overtake Brazil as the world’s fifth most populous country. This situation is alarming and should be the main issue to debate about rather then wasting time over questioning the plus minus of census results.
I believe that this is the moment which should open our eyes and make us realise that more then 40 percent of Pakistanis live at or below the poverty line — meaning they earn a dollar or less then a dollar per day. During the period of last decade, there is clear evidence that poverty is on a rise and it has crept in every strata of our society. Prevailing inflation and consumer prices are all time high and currency has lost its value in the local market. Common sense tells us it means there are too many mouths to feed.
We as a nation need to realise that by not following birth control and family planning, we are being unfair to our motherland. It is not always right to blame the government for this population explosion. It is an economic fact that every there is no such thing as unlimited capacity or resources and the current population is a burden on the country’s limited resources.
Over population breeds poverty which in turn breeds frustration and the feeling of deprivation among people. Statistics clearly show that cases of rape, murder, theft, suicides and domestic violence are on a rise. I am afraid if we as a nation do not realise the great threat this population size is posing for the future we may soon find ourselves struggling to just keep our heads above water, which has already reached our necks.
I humbly request all concerned social activists and politicians to take this issue seriously and educate masses about the pitfalls of overpopulation instead of wasting time over trivial issues. I strongly believe the very survival of Pakistan is at stake if this trend of growth in population goes unchecked. I request all my fellow countrymen to give this issue a serious thought.
I also request our current leadership to allocate size able resources to fight menace of overpopulation and seek help from developed countries where population growth rate is negative.
Published in Daily Times, September 14th 2017.