Pakistan Must Declare Population Control A National Emergency, Welfare Of Women Should Be At Center Of Population Planning

DAWN: Population emergency
Roshaneh Zafar, founder and managing director of Kashf Foundation

“There is no doubt that conducting a population census is an important planning and development tool for a country’s policymakers. … How­ever, for a child born in Pakistan today the census highlights some crucial aspects: geography to a large extent will determine future opportunities, while gender will determine the access to resources. … Unfortunately, for the Pakistani government, all the development planning for the last 19 years has been done without knowledge about the actual growth or size of the population. … The only path towards progress and improving Pakistan’s dire socioeconomic conditions is through declaring population control a national emergency, while ensuring that the welfare of women is kept at the center of any population planning strategy. Similarly, based on reliable census data, Pakistan needs to devise well-knit, objective policies to adequately plan growth and solve the country’s apparently insurmountable socioeconomic problems. It is hoped that the government realises its priorities and responsibilities” (12/7).