Population planning matters

While we were still bubbling over with excitement on the naming of popular singer and social activist, Shehzad Roy, as honorary brand ambassador for population and family planning by the President of Pakistan as the chair of the Task Force on Population, the PPP Chairman roared in the National Assembly that the contraceptives were also on the long list of tax exemptions being withdrawn

It seems the President acted against the advice of the Prime Minister of the Riasat-e-Madina who ensured that the brand wouldn’t sell

But this prevention of the Malthusian preventive check will not necessarily take the 2017 population of 207 million to the UN projected 403 million by 2050

True to the reputation of ‘left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing’, the more lethal positive Malthusian checks will be in place

Baby food and formula milk are also being taxed

Pakistan was among the first countries to start a family planning programme

Bengalis outnumbered the Punjabis, Sindhis, Pashtuns and Baloch all put together

It now seems that the unstated aim was to contain the population of East Bengal, first through the creation of One Unit of West Pakistan and political and fiscal parity with East Pakistan and then an effective family planning programme

Its greatest champion, Field Marshall Ayub Khan, is believed to have complained that the Bengalis are good only for producing children

Since the departure of the Field Marshall and the emergence of Bangladesh, family planning first underwent frequent name changes and then near disappearance from the priorities of what is now Pakistan

To its credit, Bangladesh now boasts a smaller population and a much higher GDP growth rate and income per capita

In Pakistan, public spending on population planning has been declining in absolute terms

From Rs20

5 billion in FY18, it fell to Rs14

3 billion in FY19 and further down to Rs11

4 billion in FY20

Bilawal’s Sindh is no exception

Spending decreased from Rs4

3 billion in FY19 to Rs4 billion in FY20

Oddly, the least populated Balochistan spends more than twice the amount spent by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa

There has been a total collapse after the 18th amendment that devolved the subject to the provinces

Total expenditure before the Amendment in FY10 was 0

63% of the poverty reduction expenditure

In FY20 it was 0


To many the West has an agenda to contain the Muslim population

The Quaid-i-Azam is perhaps too secular

Allama Iqbal continues to command reverence

His devotees should know what he wrote in his very first book, Ilm-ul-Iktisad: “Poverty is the source of all crimes

If this great calamity is defeated the world will present a model of paradise

But under the present circumstances the only way to freedom from the clutches of this evil spirit is a smaller population of the mankind so that the economic resources can support it

” The Allama continued: “In our country economic resources are limited but the population is growing day by day

Nature cures it by famine and disease

But we should also free ourselves from the limitations placed by the practice of marrying in childhood and the number of wives

Our only aim here is to have fewer children

The desire to marry is a natural urge, the suppression of which is also not healthy

This aim can be achieved by marrying late or, in other words, by reducing birth rate and by generally restraining sexual urges

” Thus to him, poverty was a social problem with an intimate relationship with a high rate of growth of population

Published in The Express Tribune, January 14th, 2022

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Date:15-Jan-2022 Reference:View Original Link