Pakistan's burgeoning population, a blessing or a burden?

  • Pakistan’s population has continued to grow at break-neck speed. This has put immense pressure on the resources Pakistan has or can generate. Some would argue that every birth produces a consumer and person who will grow up and pay our pension when we are old. Is the high birth-rate a blessing or is it a burden? Should we moderate our population growth or should we allow things to carry on the way they are? What are your views? Is it possible for a country like Pakistan to moderate its population growth?

  • Its only a blessing if we can provide the relevant socio-economic infrastructure to the population otherwise its a burden

  • That, we have been patently unable to do. So this begs the obvious question, should we start having fewer children? Sorry, this does sound like stating the obvious but my question perhaps is more about our will to do say so and do so. Is it right to bring a child into this world that you cannot provide for?

  • population control (or lower birth rates) is directly correlated with literacy levels in a society - the answer is more education - there is no short term solution unless you go all sanjay gandhi on the hoi polloi.

  • gv

    "there is no short term solution unless you go all sanjay gandhi on the hoi polloi."

    That is very funny way of putting it. It did make me laugh. I do realise you making a serious point underneath the light heartedness.

    When you say 'more education', I take it you are referring to literacy or do you mean other education too?

  • @sting.

    Glad to be of service :)

  • @stingingnettle

    Sanjay Gandhi solution was not a bad effort if it was managed and implemented correctly. We do need something similar to curtail our fast increasing birth rate. Contraception methods are very hard to introduce let alone implement in our conservative society.

  • Sweettruth;

    " Contraception methods are very hard to introduce let alone implement in our conservative society."

    Well, someone has got to bell the cat, any volunteers?

  • It is not a burden but we must take measures to control the population growth rate, such as raising awareness about contraceptives etc.

    Nation's wealth is its human resource. Until 1700s half of world's GDP came from China and South Asia because there were half of world's population. The balance is now swinging back to this region.

    We need to train them and/or send them abroad.

  • @sweet truth

    so you think forced vasectomies are a good idea?

  • bsobaid;

    We can barely clothe or feed them, send them 'abroad'?

    More than 20% to 25 %(a very conservative estimate) of our children do not set foot in any school and this includes schools that have classes happening underneath a tree. Yet we produce more and more children to feed the monster of misery and deprivation. The young population we already have is perhaps our asset but the way things look now, we shall see the mother-of-all-problems knocking on our door say in 15 years.

    I am not sure the problem is eduction about contraception or the knowledge about what is causing it. The fault lines are else where.

  • Increasing population is actually a blessing in Islam, Christianity and judaism. So in religious sense its good. Also if we analyse it, increasing population is actually good. Man power is a resource and not a burden, It is a burden if the wealth is distributed in an unjust manner, like forinstance in Pakistan, India and through out the world.

    So if we want to follow capitalism there will always be an unjust distribution of the wealth. But if we follow the islamic concept of zakat. 2.5 % tax on savings (gold, money, silver property etc)not on salary, and we quit corruption then its a blessing. And man power can be used in agriculture, industries and other productive things. In this way there wont be capitalistic pyramide and jobless people.

  • @gv

    No! Not forced sterilization of pedestrian and by standers. Sanjay Gandhi made this mistake and what I am saying we should learn from the mistakes he made and do something which can reduce birth rate to 1 or 2% per annum.

    I am not an expert on this topic; someone with some information/knowledge may provide better insight and ideas on how to do/manage this in our conservative society.

  • I think we dont need to go to extremes for pop. growth. Condoms is a good step to start with.

    As I said, we should take measures to control the growth rate but current population of 19 crore is a vast resource at our disposal. In all cases, the population cant go down to 100 million. The problems we need to fix today, are needed to be fixed even if growth rate is controlled.

    I do agree the growth rate should be controlled as I indicated earlier but current population should be seen as an opportunity.

  • The argument for population control is quite simple;

    Finite planet, finite country called Pakistan, finite resources ; and hence a finite population.

    Procreation is not a sign of growth, unless there is adequate provision in place.

    The bottom heavy population stats we have now (more young than old) is going to turn top heavy in the next 20 or 30 years and then we must be prepared for the big crush.

    I think many in Pakistan, especially rural Pakistan consider children, especially male children, as an old age pension scheme. So more children means more people to look after elderly parents. This is perhaps understandable in a country that has no or shockingly inadequate pension for the vast majority of the population. The difficulty is the quality of life these children have before they can become providers in any sense.In any case when these children grow up and get married they continue the pattern of large families irrespective of whether they can afford it or not. The education system of course can't cope with the numbers and these children become slave labour working in houses or dangerous workshops etc. The cycle of poverty and deprivation starts again.

    We do not need expert help from outside Pakistan to tell us something that commons sense makes obvious. To feed to children is a hell lot easier than feeding 6. The quality of life you can provide for 2 will be a lot better than what you can provide on the same income for 6. You don't need me to state these obvious fact. So this leaves me with a question; Why do people do it? Why do you put your life and innocent children's life in misery?

    I only wish I knew.