ISLAMABAD: Psychologists and economists on Thursday stressed that rapid growth of population should be taken seriously and all stakeholders should contribute to control the boom on a war-footing.

Speaking in a radio programme, psychologist Dr Humaira Jami said population explosion is a major threat to Pakistan and the issue has been neglected by previous governments.

It is an alarming situation that our population growth ratio has increased from 2 to 2.4 per cent creating big challenges of more resources to cater to basic needs, including food, water and other necessities,” she said.

She said advocating family planning is simply a matter of enabling poor people in developing countries to exercise choices available to rich people everywhere.

It remains the responsibility of religious scholars and other concerned people to educate people about the consequences of population explosion, she emphasised.

The time has come where governments, donors, and non-governmental organisations know they must cooperate to achieve tangible results, she said.

Economist Dr Aitzaz Ahmad also said population growth creates problems such as poverty, famine and unemployment in the short run, but in the long run, could lead to new developments through advancement in technology, provided human resources were utilised in a proper manner.

“It was mainly because of lack of awareness and misunderstanding on the part of the people that family planning and religion have got intertwined, while in fact, it the growth has a direct impact on maternal health and development of society,” he added.

He urged print and electronic media to guide society in the right direction by communicating the right message to the people.

Economist Dr Shahid Hassan Siddiqui added that population explosion control was essential as the country’s resources were limited in comparison to population growth.

He said one of the most powerful tools in stemming population growth will be education as it leads to lower birth rates and slows population growth.

Dr Shahid said a more-educated workforce also makes poverty eradication and economic growth easier to achieve.

The poverty is at the peak in rural areas and there are certain opportunities to improve income through livestock, adding, the government is also making efforts to improve water resources as population explosion may also result in shortage of water in the country.

Another Psychologist Dr Aneela Kamal said the awareness campaign should be launched in order to educate people about the effects of over-population.

Population explosion is one of the serious challenges facing the country today and this rapid rise poses the biggest threat to the state’s plans to achieve self-sufficiency in different human development indicators, she added.