Pakistan SC Endorses 'Family Planning' To Curb Population Explosion; Quotes Indian Example

Pakistan SC Endorses Family Planning To Curb Population Explosion; Quotes Indian Example

""The Courts and the legislature and executive in India nevertheless remained uncompromising in the object of population reduction. As a result of these stringent legislative measures complimented by judicial support, in the year 2017 the annual population growth percentage in India has decreased to 1.1% while that of Pakistan remains at 2.0%."

Likening the population growth in the country to a 'ticking bomb', the Supreme Court of Pakistan has called upon policymakers, legislators, care providers, civil society activists and religious scholars' to promote 'responsible parenthood behaviours' and 'family planning'.

The three judge bench headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar delivered its verdict in the suo motu Human Rights case which it had registered taking note of alarming high population growth rate in the country.

"The threat of over-population or "population explosion" is a doom the country is unknowingly moving towards if a national crusade for population control is not launched in time. It is an unfortunate reality that the earth is becoming too small to accommodate our growing numbers and its resources are rapidly decreasing at an alarming rate. This is not only adversely affecting the general quality of life but also threatening the mere existence of life on earth", said the bench on why it chose to register suo motu case regarding this issue.

Quotes Indian Example

The judgment referred to legislative efforts by India to curb population growth. Referring to Indian Supreme Court judgments like Javed & Others Vs. State of Haryana, Air India Vs. Nergesh Meerza, which had upheld such legislative measures, the bench said: "The Courts and the legislature and executive in India nevertheless remained uncompromising in the object of population reduction. As a result of these stringent legislative measures complimented by judicial support, in the year 2017 the annual population growth percentage in India has decreased to 1.1% while that of Pakistan remains at 2.0%."

The bench also observed that the Indian Supreme Court has also considered the issue of health concerns and human rights violation arising from targeted sterilization of a certain - deprived class of the population. It particularly quotes a 2016 judgment of Supreme Court in Devika Biswas Vs Union of India wherein it had issued certain directions to the Centre and states in the matter of implementation of sterilisation programme across the country.

The judgment also mentions similar measures taken by countries like Iran, China and Bangladesh as well.

Our Posterity Will Thank Us For This

The judgment concludes with this observation:

"The population explosion that we so rightly fear can only be overcome if we stand against it together as one; if we successfully convince the common man that our limited resources cannot feed more than two children per house; if we accept that required transformative investments in human development can only be made if our hands are not tied by severe economic constraints and depleting resources; if we admit that the ratio of mouths to feed has long outweighed our resources; if all stakeholders, including policymakers, legislators, care providers, civil society activists and religious scholars, play their roles in unison to support responsible parenthood behaviours in our society; and if we can convince ourselves that population planning is not a plan for the future, but a remedial step that has already been taken too late: only then can we diffuse this ticking bomb. Having equipped the nation with the above Recommendations, collaboration of the three pillars of State and all stakeholders and the words of wisdom and caution of experts for this campaign reduce the population growth rate, this journey we have embarked upon will indeed be one that our posterity will thank us for."


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