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Concerted efforts to be made to control population: Firdous PDF Print E-mail
ISLAMABAD, Jul 11 (APP): Federal Minister for Population Welfare Firdous Aashiq Awan said on Sunday that the government is taking serious measures to control population growth in the country. Talking to a private news channel, she suggested that everyone should play its due role about the issue.

She said, now concerted efforts would be made to meet the target as all stakeholders including religious community have been taken on-board.
Firdous urged on media and civil society to create awareness among the people through different campaigns.
After constant efforts of long years, the country has reached on fertility rate of 4 percent and population growth rate is currently 2.2 percent which is highest in our region, she informed.
She elaborated that within one minute, eight babies are adding in our population which makes 3.5 million population in one year, equivalent to the population of ‘Faisalabad’.
“We should keep in mind that the country has highest mothers mortality rate with highest infants mortality rates in the region as well as in the world,” she said.
Under this scenario, the policies and planning in this regard have become a challenge that how heavy population growth can be curtailed, she said adding population policies of the past, to some extent, remained successful to static the population growth rate but could not drastically brought down the heavy population growth.
To a question she said, in the country there is no match between economic growth rate and population growth rate. The secret of development of a country is in the balance of the two growth rates, she said.
When asked why the past policies could not meet the target she said, whenever the population policy was formulated, it was confronted by religious community and it was termed as an initiative against Islam.
“After taking charge as Federal Population Minister I worked to know the root cause and hurdle that why we are unable to implement our own policies which were practical. I found communication gap between the policy makers and religious community as what was being said was not being perceived properly.” There was misperception that this is something contradictory against Islam, she added.
“We started our earnest efforts to engage religious community and worked for a partnership with them.”
At mega level, religious seminars were held in all four provinces of the country in which ulema belonging to all schools of thought were invited.
The ulema gave suggestions with parameters based on Islamic philosophy and Islamic values to formulate a new population policy.
Under new population policy formulated after consultation with religion community ‘Vision 2020’, religious leaders are being empowered. For the first time, ‘Imam Masjid’ is being made a partner in population welfare programmes. He would act as a social mobilizer, she added.
Prime Minister has declared 2011 as population year under this initiative, the issue will be focused during the whole year, the Minister said. 
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