The Haripur Chamber of Commerce and Industry said on Wednesday that the country’s biggest threat is not being addressed. Pakistan is facing climate challenges, terrorism, floods, drought, corruption, instability, energy crisis, a sinking economy, water scarcity, mafia rule and other threats, but a major threat is a rapidly growing population, a ticking time bomb, which is not being handled on merit, it said. Pakistan’s available resources and infrastructure cannot bear the burden of such a large population, said Khurram Sheikh, Patron-in-Chief, Haripur Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
In a statement issued here today, he said that in 1950 the population of Pakistan was 34 million, which has now increased to over 240 million and in the next twenty-seven years it will be more than 400 million.
The system will be unable to cater to the needs of the population, like providing health, education employment etc. and the system will collapse.
Pakistan’s population has been experiencing exponential growth over the past few decades. He observed that several factors contribute to this increase, including high birth rates, limited access to family planning services, cultural norms, and beliefs.
Khurram Sheikh said that the GDP growth rate sometimes increases and sometimes decreases. Still, the population growth continues to grow, straining vital resources, crippling the economy, and overwhelming social infrastructure.
He said that at present, about forty per cent of the population is suffering from food insecurity, forty-four percent of the children under the age of five are stunted, and records of maternal and child deaths are also being made.
The business leader noted that agriculture production per acre in the country is alarmingly low while destroying important crops due to weather effects has become a regular occurrence.
In these circumstances, the departments created to control the population suffer from worse governance instead of being active. The division of powers between the Centre and the provinces needs to be clarified, which is another favour of the Eighteenth Amendment to this nation.
He said that if attention is not paid to the youth’s health, education and skill-building and the population growth rate is not reduced, millions of youth in the country will take negative paths, which will prove disastrous for the economy and society and dealing with them will become impossible.
Therefore, the issue of population should be taken seriously.