A dystopian future when want and grime will be our lot is one in which WE are fighting a losing struggle. The reason? There are simply too many of us; Pakistan’s population is rapidly outpacing our capacity to sustain the millions who call this nation home. Unbelievably, it still seems like there isn’t a solid plan for population control in the works. World Population Day, marked annually on July 11, is intended to draw attention to the significance of population issues in a world with limited resources. There is no other way to describe Pakistan’s frightening 2.4 percent annual population growth rate, which adds between 4 and 5 million children to the country’s overall population every year. The administration needs to stop acting like an ostrich and start using all of the tools at its disposal to deal with the problem.
The internal security is also greatly threatened by the population growth. Pakistan, which has 230 million citizens, is the fifth-most populous country in the world and is expected to reach 300 million by 2030. Human security was correctly acknowledged as a prerequisite for internal security in the National Security Policy that was released at the beginning of 2022. It also made a passing reference to “population management” and the proverbial “elephant in the room.” However, nothing new has been revealed on that front. The government must creatively advance the story about the advantages of reducing family size by working with the media. That needs to be supported by easy access to reputable family planning services provided by the government healthcare system. The issue would receive the attention it deserves if these were included in both the Ehsaas/BISP programmes and the Sehat Sahulat card. According to a recent significant study conducted jointly by numerous international organisations, including the WHO, women in Pakistan experience an estimated 3.8 million unplanned pregnancies annually, the majority of which are brought on by the lack of access to modern contraception. The information also revealed that 52 percent of married women of childbearing age who want to prevent pregnancy do not use a modern form of contraception.
Currently, a perfect storm is threatening us. A great amount of bitterness and fury among a young population that sees little options for progress in the face of shrinking work opportunities has been caused by inadequate investment in education and bad economic growth. Unmistakably, the repercussions of climate change are upon us, making already precious resources much more so. Harvests are being negatively impacted and food insecurity is being made worse by unpredictable weather patterns and rising temperatures. Due to population constraints, we are also far more susceptible to global supply chain disruptions from external factors like the present Russia-Ukraine conflict. Water and energy shortages have already started to cause discontent; it appears that even the tiniest provocation can incite mob violence in a populace whose patience has already run thin due to bad government, growing inflation, and urban crime. This is not the way to guarantee a nation’s future.