Statistics do not do justice to the people who make up the population of Pakistan. The people of Pakistan, most of whom are Muslim, never forget this verse from the Quran: “Pay homage to God. . . and be good to your parents and relatives, the orphans and the needy and the neighbors who are your relatives, and the neighbors who are strangers, and the friend by your side. . . "
Each individual who adds one more number to the total population strives to reach out to family, to friends and to visitors from abroad. One would have to search long and hard within the entire population to find a single person who did not want to display generosity and a caring attitude to all.
Pakistan is a country that was created as a welcoming haven for Muslims. It became a country following the partitioning of India in the second half of the 1940s. Hindus living in the region that is now Pakistan fled to India. Muslims living in what is now India fled to Pakistan.
The people living in what is now called Pakistan have faced many different invaders. Armies from the ancient Persian Empire once invaded the territory now known as Pakistan. After Alexander the Great marched into Persian, he marched further east. His army also tried to control the people living in the mountains that were east of Persia.
Monguls have invaded Pakistan. Turks have invaded it. Arabs have invaded it. Afghanis have invaded it. The blood of all those invading armies has been mixed into the blood of the people of Pakistan.
Today the people of Pakistan no longer need to fight off invaders. Today the people of Pakistan appear to be very busy enlarging their families. Pakistan has a soaring birth rate. There are 25.52 births for every 1,000 people living within the borders of Pakistan. This contrasts with 8 deaths for every 1,000 people living within the borders of Pakistan.
Some of those deaths are due to infectious diseases-AIDS, typhoid fever, malaria, rabies and hepatitis. Too many of those deaths represent young lives lost, because a mother has died in childbirth. Pakistan needs help from professionals who know something about reproductive research. Bill Gates has made money for such research available to the people.
Still, Pakistan has many other pressing needs, needs that relate to its growing population. The world's Population Council has put together a long list of the population-related problems in Pakistan. The Council has taken steps to address those problems. The Council has begun holding programs on reproductive health inside Pakistan. The Council has studied the link between the growing population and the ever-present poverty in Pakistan.
The Council has initiated an evaluation of family planning programs and an investigation of the changing educational opportunities.
All of the Council's efforts, combined with money and help from other sources, promise to direct Pakistan toward an era when the country can enjoy both steady and controlled population growth.
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