Overpopulation is not the reason behind Pakistan’s poverty!
Pakistan is not poor because it is overpopulated; it is poor because it has not drawn on its resources adequately. No sane person would attribute Pakistan’s resource crises to overpopulation. It is the making of our own doing. We know we have not planned
our economy. We have misused resources and flouted them with vengeance.
Baluchistan is the least populated area of Pakistan, but with worst poverty indicators. It houses only 5.1 per cent of population of Pakistan in a territory covering 43 per cent of Pakistan’s total land. In the words of an independent economist, Wazir Ahmed,
there is an “equitable distribution of poverty in Baluchistan”.
According to the Pakistan Labour force survey 2009-10, unemployment rate in Baluchistan is 33.4 per cent, with poverty at 48 per cent for the urban and 51 per cent at the rural level. Nearly 90 per cent people, whether literate or illiterate are jobless
or unemployed. Situation becomes more critical when we find out that, of the one million cultivable lands in Baluchistan, the provincial government earns no more than a million rupees from agriculture, in other words, one rupee per acre. So far used as a mineral
resource and trade route only, Baluchistan has been exploited by wide margins through people known to exploitation a mean to their own ends.
The reason why Pakistan is feeling the heat of inflation and unemployment is because our economy is dysfunctional. The engines of economy: energy, communications, transportations, and financial institution have turned into carcasses, eaten and depleted by
corruption and law and order. The saga of not adding anything to our electric grid and the mismanagement of gas through ill planned CNG and LPG sectors speaks volume of the disrespect we have shown to the nature. Unless we had exhausted all our options in
optimally using the resources at our disposal, blaming population explosion responsible for our economic woes sounds un-pragmatic. This brings us to the human resource; Pakistan’s population has 70 per cent people below the age of 25. There is great risk out
there, in case we fail to direct this tsunami of people to the right direction, it’s going to devour us all.