Writing on the World Population Day I would like to express my view that over-population is one of the major reasons for Pakistan's backwardness and host of other problems that we are facing. The population of 180 million is certainly much higher than the country's size and resources and it is stimated that if the growth rate is not checked the population will touch 300 million by the year 2050. It will be a flood of people, difficult to contain within the state's boundaries making it hard to drive or walk on roads and streets, the requirement of accommodation, food, education and ther necessities apart. It is about time that the problem was seriously tackled with some planning.

Although there exit's a Population Planning Division in the government, it has not tackled the problem earnestly. While the educated classes have estricted the family size to 2 or 3 children the poor still have large families. They consider more children as more working hands not realising the fact that a small number of children, well groomed, well educated and working at good jobs or doing good business are far better than a dozen of them working as menials, house cleaners or laborers.

Another big hurdle is the ill educated Mullahs' who beats a different drum. They profess that Islam does not permit family planning, which is not correct. They draw further strength from the belief that God almighty has promised food for each soul that he creates'. I suggest the right thinking cum enlightened religious teachers should be inducted in the family planning department to shed the people's self created beliefs and put them on the right track. They should emphasise the dire need for raising the standards of living, which can only be achieved by keeping the family small.

RAFI NASIM,

Lahore, July 11.