Peshawar – Former Ambassador Manzoor-ul-Haq said on Sunday that controlling population growth has always been a big challenge for developing countries like Pakistan and stressed the need to create a balance between population and resources of the country to provide quality services to people elsewhere. ensure sustainable economic growth and development.
Speaking to the APP news agency, he said the country’s frantic growth trajectory in the demographic chart was changing at a rapid pace, putting additional pressure on education, health, food, infrastructure, among other socio-economic sectors, which have become one of the major factors in depriving citizens of quality services in addition to undermining economic growth and industrial development.
At the time of Pakistan’s independence, he said, our population was only 30 million and has now grown to over 220 million with a record seven-fold increase in the past 74 years. .
He said that every year, five million people were added to the country with a substantial growth rate of two percent, fearing that such unbridled population growth would further widen the gap between the country’s resources and the number. of people in addition to encouraging corruption and nepotism in the country. society. He claimed that the country’s population would be doubled again in less than 30 years if the current growth continued at such an alarming rate.
Manzoor-ul-Haq, who has served as Pakistan’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Egypt, said Pakistan is the fifth most populous country and the 33rd largest country in the world where most of the population lives below the line. of poverty with less than two dollars per capita. and about two million children are out of school due to socio-economic imbalances.
Civic facilities including colleges, universities, educational institutions, transportation and other essential services are overstretched in cities due to increased migration of people from rural areas for better services and if these trends continue, it would create dozens of social and economic problems in the future.
Ambassador Manzoor said that young people who constitute more than sixty percent of the country’s total population under the age of 30, are considered valuable assets of Pakistan and can bring laurels to the nation after providing education, quality science and technology and jobs according to their qualifications. “Historically, the industrial development of our country has remained satisfactory for a longer period, but the nation has not been able to fully reap its fruits due to population explosion,” he added.
“During my period of preparation for the Public Service Commission, most inspiring candidates did not consider population growth and its adverse effects on the national economy as a key problem and in such a scenario, how can an ordinary person whose Thought mainly revolves around foodstuffs one might think of this serious social problem,” he said.
Emphasizes the need to create a balance between population, resources to provide quality services to people
Manzoor recalled that a clock on the roof of the Family Planning Office in Cairo, Egypt, rather than displaying the time, displayed statistics on how many people each newborn was registered in within 15 days. “As every newborn is registered with the government, the number on this clock is increasing, clearly showing an increase in population and putting the number of Egyptians ahead of the nation,” he said. He said it was a good step to do pre-planning and formulate strategies to facilitate the population.
Manzoor said China adopted a “one child, one family” planning policy and then relaxed it as part of its contested social script. Emphasizing the need for effective planning to control the population, Ambassador Manzoor argued that no development project would be successful in the future if it was not based on population estimates.
He suggested the inclusion of the population with its merits and demerits in the national curriculum to broaden the knowledge of students on this major issue in addition to providing better education, health and other socio-economic services to the population. .