THIS is apropos your editorial ‘Ticking bomb’ (Oct 14). Comments are thought-provoking and indeed a source of deep concern for all linked with social development and the reproductive health sector.
In 1950 the country’s population was only 32.5 million and we were ranked as the 14th most populated country in the world but today with an estimated population of 190 million we are now the sixth most populated country.
If the current high population growth rate of 2.05 per cent per annum goes unchecked with a mammoth population of 335 million by 2050, we are bound to become the fourth country after China, India and the United States, and the number one most populous Muslim country in the world surpassing Indonesia. Again, the already overstretched public sector cannot be blamed entirely for income of such a magnitude in our population as the high ratio of illiteracy, poor status of women, primitive mindset, cultural inhibitions and taboos have hampered the progress in this direction.
You have rightly pointed out that NGOs and the private sector can play a key role in the implementation of Reproductive Health and Family Planning Programmes at the grassroots level where they are needed the most. Institutions like the National Trust for Population Welfare and Trust for Voluntary Organisations should mobilise NGOs and the masses for achieving the goal of population stabilisation in the country.
DR HASAN FAISAL Islamabad