Overpopulation: A real state of crisis for Pakistan

By: |Maryam Qureshi|

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Pakistan ranks number 6 in the list of countries (and dependencies) by contributing 2.6 per cent to the World population.

The masses of Pakistan don’t believe in family planning and the only statement you will get to hear from them is ‘bachay do hi achay’. Since I was a kid I recall watching advertisements by ‘sabz sitara’.

It’s not just the general Pakistani public, the country is catering to the world’s leading number of immigrants–particularly Afghan refugees, that has led to such an explosion in this small country’s overpopulation.

Pakistan’s rising population has caused us many issues–the state requires to use methods to regulate it; like better schooling, family planning and most importantly, the census.

60 percent of Pakistan’s population lives in rural regions, leading to overpopulation, as more kids are helpful. It also implies having more kids to have a higher workforce to work in the areas, manage the company and operate the family. However, females add a lot to the population of Pakistan, but they are generally assigned to run homes and males are the breadwinner.

A dire need of a ‘son’ can be seen in almost every family whether belonging to the upper, middle or lower class. I can recall my grandmother asking my cousin to pray for a baby brother instead of a baby sister. People tend to try another time for the sake of a son. Ending up with multiple babies.

Lack of unawareness in couples also leads to extended family as they continue to grow without adequate family planning. Due to the chauvinist beliefs of our society, it is presumed that men have more authority over women, male chauvinism combined with women’s less awareness bounds the woman to do what her husband tells her to do so in matters like making a decision for a new baby.

Lack of education also keeps people unaware of what problems overpopulation can cause and what benefits family planning has for them.

Due to unmanageable expenses, people face lower living standards.

However, Pakistan is ranked amongst countries with a higher number of the workforce yet fails to be productive as compared to countries with a lower number of workforce. Lack of productivity and motivation in the labor force has lead to huge problems.

Pakistan’s geographical location makes it a warmer country which results in children attaining puberty at an early age hence leading to rapid population growth.

With increasing population and a scarcity of recreational facilities and enjoyment activities, people tend to stay home leading to spending more time with wives which then results in having more children.

Various measures have been taken by multiple governments but the lack of acceptance by many families due to religious or ethical reasons have led to steps of government have gone to waste.

Due to overpopulation, Pakistani populations’ death rate and birth rate are at a huge difference contributing to more people being born and fewer people dying.

Customs and beliefs also contribute to a larger population. Numerous people specifically older one’s belief in having more kids defining them as the ‘ronaq’ of any household. Having multiple children is also seen as a sign of love between parents. A common culture of the joint family system is also seen in Pakistan where families live together which also leads to a competition between families to have more children and parents forcing their newlywed children to surprise them with a ‘khushkhabri’ as soon as possible.

Numerous factors combined are funding to Pakistan’s overpopulation. This is an alarming situation for Pakistan leading to numerous problems. The government must take steps along with ullemas to educate locals about the importance of family planning.

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