QUETTA: A member of the Balo­chistan Assembly, intellectuals, medical experts, representatives of civil society and media persons have expressed concern over the rapid increase in the country’s population.

Speaking at a meeting of the media committee of the Pakistan Population Council here on Thursday, they said the recommendations of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) should be implemented properly for achieving the international target of sustainable population growth.

The speakers observed that Pakistan had become the fifth most populated country of the world with 221 million people as its population was growing at a rate of 2.4 per cent annually.

“We have to take immediate steps to deal with this problem, otherwise our resources will be exhausted with the passage of time which will increase our problems.”

They warned that it was the last chance for taking steps on an emergency basis, otherwise Pakistan would face not only serious economic crises but also confront poverty, water shortage, and many other problems.

Balochistan Assembly member Qadir Ali Nayal, Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa, head of Gynecology Department of Civil Sandeman Hospital Quetta, Deputy Director of Population Welfare Planning, Balochistan, Abdul Sattar Shahwani, Dr Zafar, Health Department representative, Dr Ali Mohammad Mir, Senior Director Programme, Population Council, Saima Ali Shah, Project Director Ikram-ul-Ahad, Senior Communication Officer and others spoke on the occasion.

They said that the country’s population had increased more than six times since independence. “Due to non-provision of medical facilities, 3,000 mothers die during childbirth every year. One-fifth of the people want family planning, but they do not have access to medical care. If immediate corrective steps are not taken, the country’s population will double by 2050 and the resources will shrink further.”

The speakers said that the population of Balochistan had increased faster than other provinces as its population growth had been 4.3pc. In Balochistan, 92pc women are confined to their homes.

Published in Dawn, October 1st, 2021

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