Describing Pakistan's rapidly growing population as a "ticking timebomb", the Supreme Court Tuesday urged religious scholars, the civil society and the government to back population control measures, including a two children per family norm, in the Muslim-majority country.
A three-member bench led by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar made the observations during a hearing in a case related to population control in Pakistan, now the world's fifth most populous.
In its order, the Supreme Court urged religious scholars, the civil society and the government to take steps to promote population control in the country.
The bench referred to the increasing population as a "ticking timebomb", the Express Tribune reported.
"The increasing population is a burden on the country's resources. It is about the future of the next generation. It would be unfortunate if the population is not controlled. Two children per home will help to control the population. There is a need for a campaign on the matter," the apex court was quoted as saying by the report.
"The entire nation needs to stand together to control the population," the chief justice said.
According to the 2017 census, Pakistan's population was approximately 207,774,520, making it the world's fifth most populous nation only behind China, India, the United States and Indonesia.
In July, the Supreme Court took suo motu action on increase in population. The chief justice, on the occasion, remarked that there is dire need to formulate a uniform and effective policy to curb Pakistan's population growth.
On Monday, the apex court came down hard on Health Secretary Captain (Rtd) Zahid Saeed after he admitted that the department could not devise and implement effective measures to control population growth, Duniya News reported.
An angry Chief Justice Nisar remarked, "how could surveys be done while sitting in offices?" Subsequently, the court ordered him to submit a progress report to the court every three months.
The secretary informed the court that a plan has been devised to control the population growth rate which has to be brought down to 1.5 per cent by 2025.
The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has also voiced its concern at the rapid increase of population in the country, calling it a looming disaster.
In a recent press statement, the PMA said the birth of 15,000 babies in Pakistan on the 1st day of 2019 was alarming.
The PMA thinks that it is a distressing situation as at the moment as 60 per cent of the national population stands below the age of 25 years; 25 million children are not going to school and 90 per cent the population is not being provided with clean drinking water. Malnutrition is another big issue and food scarcity is a big problem, the association said.
The PMA said it believes that the unchecked rise in the population is a looming disaster, and concrete steps should be taken to implement family planning and make people-friendly economic policies to overcome these difficulties and save the coming generations.
Pakistan's population was one of the fastest growing in the world and in years to come, the country will be the fourth most populous in the world, the PMA said.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
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