Caretaker Provincial Minister for Health and Population Welfare Dr. Jamal Nasir said that according to the latest census results, Pakistan had become the fifth most populous country in the world after India, China, America and Indonesia. He was addressing as the chief guest at a seminar on “Alarming population growth rate and family planning” held in collaboration with the District Population Welfare Department Rawalpindi at the Punjab Arts Council (PAC) titled here on Tuesday. The minister said that this year, the total population of the world was increased by eight billion people while the current rate of population growth in Pakistan was about 2.7 percent which was very high compared to international standards. He further said that the Punjab government was taking all necessary steps to prevent overpopulation. District Population Officer Shireen Sukhan, while speaking said that population growth was the main cause of development challenges faced by Pakistan resulting in an alarming increase in poverty, illiteracy, gender inequality, environmental pollution, maternal and child mortality. “Ensuring access to high-quality family planning services can provide a sustainable solution to all these problems”, she added. Director of Arts Council Waqar Ahmed said that the gap between available resources and population could be reduced by dipping the rate of population growth. “Rapid population growth is the biggest challenge facing the country and it can be tackled with effective cooperation of scholars, media and civil society”, he added. District Khateeb Qari Iqbal Rizvi, Allama Muhammad Ali Qureshi, Secretary Rawalpindi Press Club Shakeela Jalil, Dr. Anam, Dr Wajiha and others also addressed the seminar and highlighted the problems of population growth. A drama on the theme of change of mindset was also presented in the seminar. The seminar aimed to create awareness among the people about mother and child health. A large number of people from the twin cities participated in the seminar.