The AJK President Sardar Masood Khan while describing the population welfare as the central plank of the overall development strategy said that no country can make socio-economic progress without rationalizing its population. “At present the population growth rate of Pakistan is 2.4 percent and that of Azad Jammu and Kashmir is 1.62 percent, and if necessary measures are not taken for population control, we would have to face numerous issues including hunger and unwanted transfer of population,” he warned. He expressed these views after receiving a report on the Roadmap of functional integration of Health and Population Welfare Departments to improve the state of family planning and reproductive health in AJK on Thursday, AJK President office said. The report was presented by the consultant of the United Nations Fund for Population (UNFPA) Pakistan, Raja Mohammad Razzaq. The AJK president said that the liberated territory has a literacy rate higher than all parts of Pakistan, and there is a slight difference in the literacy of boys and girls. Therefore, we expect that a major portion of our population besides having the realization of population welfare, reproductive health, the mortality rate of newborns and their mothers, can easily understand the socio-economic needs of population planning. He expressed the hope that the UN Fund for Population and the AJK population welfare department while keeping in view our family norms and social values will achieve the targets of population control, and will contribute to the alleviation of poverty and the economic prosperity of the people in the state.