Growing population bigger threat than terror: Pakistani daily

The daily highlights "lack of political commitment" to address this issue.

Last Updated: Apr 18, 2011, 14:42 PM IST

Islamabad: The rapid growth in the country`s population is posing a threat that is bigger than terrorism, said a Pakistani daily that highlighted "the lack of political commitment" to address this issue.

An editorial in the News International on Monday said: "The rapid growth of Pakistan`s population represents a threat that many experts argue exceeds that posed by terrorists or violence of other kinds."

"...The lack of political commitment to addressing the issue has resulted in Pakistan lagging well behind other Muslim countries, including Bangladesh, in this crucial area."

Pakistan has a population of nearly 170 million.

It noted that a "simple mathematical equation before us tells us that we will over the coming years run out of resources to meet the needs of people".

"Even as things stand now, our cities struggle to accommodate the growing sea of people that lives in them, and we lack the hospitals, the schools and even the supplies of water needed to meet the basic needs of our rural population."

The editorial said that a dispute over a book for school children by the World Population Fund was "somewhat disturbing".

"After objections in the media over some of the contents of the book, schools have been asked by the education department to stop teaching it. Whereas, it is perfectly possible some of the material requires review, given cultural sensitivities, the problem is that such issues have too often stood in the way of promoting family planning.”

"We need to accept the fact that this has become a compelling need, which simply cannot be ignored or shied away from any longer."