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PMC Articles Tagged 'Pakistan'

Population planning made more acceptable socially

January 23rd, 2012 by PMC | Add a Comment

As a follow up to the Daily Email of January 18th about Pakistan, here is a story indicating that some officials are using a population planning strategy of emphasizing maternal health and birth spacing, as opposed to advocating for limiting births. Apparently, this has won over some clerics — who have “given the idea of birth spacing religious sanction based on the Shariah.” The story does not make clear how many clerics have embraced these notions. As a reminder, Pakistan (about 178 million) accounts for roughly 2.5% of the world population. See: http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=88451&Cat=4

Population planning made more acceptable socially

Anil Datta
Friday, January 20, 2012

Pakistan is the sixth largest country in the world as regards population and the world’s seventh nuclear power, but when it comes to the human development index (HDI), we are at 145 out of a total of 193 countries of the world, which is something that must set us thinking.

These views were expressed by former federal minister, noted intellectual and social activist, Javed Jabbar, at the inauguration of a one-day seminar, titled, ‘Institutionalisation of the birth spacing paradigm in Sindh’ held under the joint aegis of the Population Council (an international USAID-funded NGO working on population issues), the Sindh Health Department, and Falah (Family Advancement for Life and health) at a local hotel on Thursday morning.

Among the things Falah had done, Jabbar said, was to change the thrust of the population planning that had existed over 50 years and instead of the slogan, ‘Bache Do Hi Ache’ (two children is just fine), they had changed the focus to the health of the mother and factors like the health of the family at large that suffers when there are unbridled pregnancies which affect the health of not only the mother but the family at large.

An audio-visual presentation comprising interviews of various people from the spheres of health, social welfare, and religion, highlighted how the endeavour had become more acceptable to the target groups as the focus was changed from limiting the number of births to bringing about a gap of at least two years in between each pregnancy.

According to this presentation, even the clerics who thus far were intrinsically opposed to population planning and considered it an abomination viewed from the religious perspective, were highly favourable inclined. It showed brief interviews with authorities on religion who favoured the idea of spacing births.

To read the full article, please click here: http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=88451&Cat=4

Doctors in rural areas to educate people on population

January 18th, 2012 by joe | Add a Comment

Please see this article from Pakistan Today, highlighting tactics Pakistani officials in the state of Sindh are employing in their work to stabilize their population: http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2012/01/%E2%80%98doctors-in-rural-areas-to-educate-people-on-population-control%E2%80%99/
‘Doctors in rural areas to educate people on population control’
Sunday, 15 Jan 2012 11:31 pm

KARACHI - The Sindh government has launched an advocacy programme on reproductive health issues in the rural areas of Sindh for which it has signed an agreement with doctors and homeopathic practitioners working there to educate the masses, Population Welfare Department Secretary Mumtaz Ali Shah said on Sunday.

“The Population Welfare Department has come exclusively under the control of the province instead of being handled through the federally-centered departments,” he added.

“Federal ministers and departments have their role to play in population welfare, but after the start of a province-oriented Population Welfare Department, the whole programme is customised as per the needs and requirements of the province.”

Speaking to a group of journalists, Shah said that a Population Council would be set up with the chief minister and the population welfare minister as its chairman and vice chairman, respectively.

“The Sindh government is negotiating with stakeholders to prepare a unique population policy so that we can make a infrastructure for this department,” he added.

“In short, everything is going well and we hope to achieve the desire targets with more discipline and efforts in the least span of time.”

To read the full article, please click here: http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2012/01/%E2%80%98doctors-in-rural-areas-to-educate-people-on-population-control%E2%80%99/

Pakistani girls defy Taliban school bombings

December 30th, 2011 by joe | Add a Comment

From the Muslim Women’s Newsletter.

Pakistani girls defy Taliban school bombings

Instead of listening to lectures at their old wooden desks, the girls will be forced to sit on the grass in a courtyard until workers clean the rubble and shattered glass from classrooms pulverized by the bombs

SWABI: Seven-year-old Marwa cried and shook uncontrollably at the sight of the rubble and shattered glass remnants of her classroom. The Taliban had bombed yet another girls’ school in Pakistan.

“I had to pick her up and hold her close to my chest. My worry is that we will spend our time helping the girls deal with fear instead of teaching them math and science,” said head teacher Razia Begum.

“I hope the parents keep sending their children to school.”

Pakistan’s Taliban movement, which is close to al Qaeda, has bombed hundreds of schools since launching a campaign to topple the US-backed government in 2007.

Like Taliban militants in neighboring Afghanistan, the Pakistani Taliban want girls barred from education.

Read the rest of this entry »

Pakistan: Acquittals in Mukhtaran Mai gang rape case

June 17th, 2011 by joe | Add a Comment

From BBC.  See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-13158001 Incidentally, Mukhataran Mai’s book, In the Name of Honor, is very compelling reading.

Pakistan: Acquittals in Mukhtaran Mai gang rape case.

Date: Thursday, April 21, 2011
Source: BBC

Five of six men charged over a village council-sanctioned gang rape in Pakistan have been acquitted by the Supreme Court.

The court upheld the decision of a lower court, which included commuting the death penalty of the sixth man to life imprisonment.

The victim, Mukhataran Mai, hit world headlines after speaking out about her ordeal in 2002. She has since become an icon for women’s rights in Pakistan.

She said she now feared for her life.

Mukhtaran Mai was her clear and unambiguous self when she spoke minutes after the verdict, the BBC’s Shoaib Hasan in Pakistan said.

“The police never even recorded my own statements correctly,” she said.

“I don’t have any more faith in the courts. I have put my faith in God’s judgement now. I don’t know what the legal procedure is, but my faith [in the system] is gone.

“Yes, there is a threat to me and my family. There is a threat of death, and even of the same thing happening again. Anything can happen.”

Ali Dayan Hasan of the US-based Human Rights Watch said the verdict sent a “very bad signal” across Pakistani society.

“It suggests women can be abused and even raped with impunity and those perpetrating such crimes can walk,” he told the BBC.

To read the full article, please click here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-13158001

International responses to Pakistan’s water crisis: opportunities and challenges

December 15th, 2010 by Chantelle Routhier | Add a Comment

From the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Asia Program. Asia Program Associate Michael Kugelman has published a new policy brief on how the international community can help Pakistan respond to its water crisis.

The brief has been published by the Oslo-based Norwegian Peacebuilding Center (NOREF), and can be accessed from the Asia Program’s webpage:

Read the rest of this entry »

Hunger Pains: Pakistan’s Food Insecurity

September 16th, 2010 by Chantelle Routhier | Add a Comment

The Woodrow Wilson Center has just published the edited volume, “Hunger Pains: Pakistan’s Food Insecurity.” This effort is the outgrowth of last year’s Wilson Center conference of the same name.

The book is edited by Asia Program associate Michael Kugelman and director Robert M. Hathaway, and features contributions by Michael Kugelman, Zafar Altaf, Sohail Jehangir Malik, Roshan Malik, Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Gautam Hazarika, Saadia Toor, Kaiser Bengali and Allan Jury, and Kenneth Iain MacDonald.

The book examines Pakistan’s food insecurity from a variety of angles, including supply challenges, access/distribution issues, governance constraints, social dimensions, structural dimensions, gender and regional disparities, and international responses. The book also makes a range of recommendations.

If you would like a complimentary copy, please email asia@wilsoncenter.org with your preferred mailing address, and they’ll be happy to send the copy along. A PDF version of the book can be accessed at


Pakistan, Population, and the Flooding

September 16th, 2010 by Chantelle Routhier | Add a Comment

Thanks to Bob Walker for this blog posting on the Population Institute website.

The recent flooding in Pakistan that has killed an estimated 1500 people and left more than a million people homeless has nothing to do with population. Or does it?

The flooding, of course, has been caused by torrential rains, but deforestation is often a major contributor to flooding in the developing world. Such is almost certainly the case with respect to the North West Frontier (recently renamed Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa) Province, which is one of the most densely populated and fastest growing regions in Pakistan. Deforestation is a critical problem in many parts of Pakistan, but particularly in the NWFP, where subsistence farmers are heavily dependent upon trees for fuel and lumber. A 2006 report on deforestation in Pakistan found that.

For full article, visit:

Pakistan’s New Population Policy

September 16th, 2010 by Chantelle Routhier | Add a Comment

Thanks to Bob Walker for this blog posting on the Population Institute website.

After years of neglect, Pakistan this year adopted a new population policy that promises to boost support for family planning services and information. Earlier this month, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani told a national convention on population that population growth is a bigger problem than the water and electricity crises that now grip the country.He said,”I take pride in sharing that the Pakistan Peoples Party is the only political party that includes population planning in its party manifesto.”

Current population projections indicate that Pakistan’s population will grow from an estimated 181 million in 2009 to 335 million by 2050 unless fertility rates drop faster than currently projected. At present, women in Pakistan have an average of four children.

For full article, visit:

Pakistan’s Population Policy: Will it Work?

September 16th, 2010 by Chantelle Routhier | Add a Comment

Thanks to Bob Walker for this article by Huma Yusuf, the Woodrow Wilson Center’s new Pakistan Scholar.

The best news Pakistanis have received in the past week comes in the form of the National Population Policy 2010. The policy recognises that demographics are the key to promoting economic development and security in Pakistan. It also prioritises family planning – particularly in an effort to promote birth spacing – as the best strategy for achieving ambitious population targets (2.1 births per woman in 2025).

In many ways, the story of Pakistan is one of a failure of family planning. Although the Family Planning Association of Pakistan was set up as early as 1952, we have seen a five-fold increase in our population between 1951 and 2009, from 34 million to 171 million.

For full article, visit:

Strong political commitment urged to check population growth

September 15th, 2010 by Chantelle Routhier | Add a Comment

Thanks to Bob Walker for this story.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Social Sector, Shahnaz Wazir Ali on Sunday said that population is the biggest challenge being faced by the country and strong political and social commitment is the only way to address this issue.Addressing the National Population Convention, organized here at Convention Centre to commemorate “World Population Day”, she said that there is a dire need to create awareness among masses and work for integration into development plans, seeking population stabilization.

The convention was chaired by Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani.
Speaking on the occasion Shahnaz Wazir Ali said that Pakistan is sixth biggest populous country of the world with 45 percent population consist of youth in reproductive age.

For full article, visit: