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Who is Pakistan's enemy number one?

Discussion in 'South Asia & SAARC' started by IndiranChandiran, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. IndiranChandiran

    IndiranChandiran BANNED BANNED

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    Who is Pakistan's enemy number one?
    Could there be something more dangerous than corruption, bad governance and religious terrorism? Indian and American conspiracies?
    Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy
    Published 6 hours ago.
    [​IMG]
    CDC Global Health/ Flickr CC BY


    Ask people around you to identify the three greatest threats facing Pakistan. Ordinary people, chatterbox anchors, mullahs, generals and politicians will name everything from corruption, bad governance and religious terrorism, to Indian and American conspiracies, and general moral decay. But few, if any, waste sleep worrying about the country’s exploding population. Some educated people do have misgivings, but they show concern only when prodded.

    Fortunately, the ultra-religious sorts – which this land is abundantly blessed with – are free from useless doubt. For them, more is better. Every newborn, say the ultras, comes with a guaranteed rizq (provision) stamped on its forehead. Now let’s assume, ignoring the visible contrary evidence, that this is correct. Yet, there shall remain an impossibly difficult problem even if food and water were to drop miraculously from the skies. Fact: Pakistan will eventually run out of physical space. This is what the law of exponential growth says.

    An old Persian story helps understand the mathematical concept of exponentials.

    Once upon a time, a clever courtier presented an elaborate ivory chess set to his king. In return, he asked for only one grain of rice for the first square, two for the second, four for the third, and so on. Now, kings in those times did not have degrees in math, and this one was no exception. He foolishly agreed and ordered the rice be brought out from the storage. Working on the agreed upon terms, the 10th square had 512 grains, the 14th weighed around 1kg, and the 20th around 128kg. Long before reaching the last square (64th), the kingdom’s entire rice stock was exhausted.

    The moral: if something doubles, and doubles again and again, then even the sky is not high enough.

    From 27 million to 200 million
    Let’s return to Pakistan. In 1947, it had 27 million people, and now has over 200 million. This gives a doubling time of roughly 25 years. Now assume for a moment that the ultras have their way and the doubling time stays unchanged. Then 25 years later there will be 400 million Pakistani Computerised National Identity Card holders. Wait for another 100 years and that number will comfortably exceed the world’s current population of 7.2 billion.

    The effects will be much more dramatic after yet another 25 years – that is, 150 years from today. Imagine that all 800,000 square kilometres of Pakistani territory is somehow levelled. Even so, there will be only room for standing shoulder to shoulder. In such circumstances, it is hard to imagine how further reproduction will be physically possible. Generals who receive retirement gifts of 93 acres (approximately 37 hectares) of land today will be lucky if they get 93 square feet.

    The good news is that this is not actually going to happen. Every demographer is shouting from the rooftop that birth rates are declining and doubling times are increasing. Indeed, according to the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, birth rates in Pakistan have fallen from 32.1 in 2000 to 23.2 in 2014.

    Long-term threat
    The bad news is that even this decline isn’t good enough. Short of nuclear war or a miracle, nothing can now prevent Pakistan from reaching 400 million people in 35 years to 40 years. Hence, the demand for living space will vastly accelerate. Even now, green areas are vanishing as villages become towns, and one city spills over into the next. Karachi and Hyderabad are approaching their eventual merger, just as Islamabad and Rawalpindi have become practically one city, and Islamabad is furiously racing towards Taxila.

    Doubling Pakistan’s population means that there will only be half as much fresh water as today, the air will become yet filthier, pollutants will poison the land and sea, and road traffic will become nearly impossible. As poverty skyrockets, hordes of beggars will roam the streets, madrassas will swell in size and number, and the unemployed and unemployable will chafe in anger and frustration. They will be easily persuaded that their predicament comes from some international conspiracy.

    Although this holocaust is only some years away, curiously it is the suicide terrorist – whose ball-bearing-filled jacket can kill only dozens – that draws our attention. Why? The story of two frogs loitering near the kitchen stove is instructive.

    One frog fell into a pot of hot water and was so jolted that he jumped out instantly. He was saved. The other one fell into a pot wherein the water was only slowly warming up. He swam around and around but did not summon the energy to make a sudden jump. Ultimately, he was boiled to death. The obvious moral: instant shocks are better survived than long-term threats.

    Averting catastrophe
    How to avoid a similar doom? As a first step, we must declassify our best kept national secret – knowing how babies are made. Only then can contraception be discussed in the public media, and in schools and colleges. Phenomenal ignorance on these matters has led to extremely low rates of contraceptive usage by Pakistani women. This also reflects their disempowerment in deciding the number of children. Hence, birth and fertility rates in Pakistan exceed those in Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and the rest of South Asia.

    With discussion suppressed in the name of Mashriqi sharm-o-haya, all kinds of nonsensical belief are going unchallenged today. Should we be surprised that countless workers administering polio shots, which are falsely alleged to decrease fertility, have been shot and killed?

    The government’s supreme cowardice makes one shudder. Fearing the wrath of violent ultras, Pakistan abolished the ministry for population planning many years ago. Upon googling, I came across the website of the Population Welfare Department. This ridiculous name suggests that PWD will seek, and succeed, in delivering welfare to Pakistanis irrespective of their number. I could not find an Urdu version of the website. Apart from giving advertisements in newspapers, where it matters little, I am unaware if the PWD does anything else.

    Averting catastrophe because of overbreeding does not need rocket science but it does need common sense. It also needs courage, which our pusillanimous leaders – both civil and military – have so far failed to muster. Much more than Zasb-I-Azb [the Pakistan military’s operation against militants], we need Zarb-i-Tauleed. Unless we learn from the second frog’s fate, Pakistan doesn’t have much of a future.

    This article first appeared on Eqbal Ahmad Centre for Public Education.

    We welcome your comments atletters@scroll.in.

    https://scroll.in/article/832659/who-is-pakistans-enemy-number-one
     
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  2. OverLoad

    OverLoad Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    I must say you O.P, since my joining here you are after me :angry:
    On topic INDIA
    Because of Indian bullying we spend huge sum of money on defense which deprived Govt to allocate funds for the betterment of the people.
    Second corrupt politician who managed to send huge sum of looted money to outside of Pakistan.
    Third bad governance and lack of vision.

    Afghanistan War and refugees are big burden on our economy and often involved in terrorist activities as proxies by over beloved neighbor.
     
  3. IndiranChandiran

    IndiranChandiran BANNED BANNED

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    Focus on the message not the messenger .Besides it's not as if I tagged you here .

    Pakistan is where it is because they put themselves there .Nobody forced you to support the Mujahedin in Afganistan or to stoke the fires in J&K.

    I think that is the thrust of the article too.To man up & take responsibility for your actions & remedy the problem instead of whining about how others are responsible for your current status .
     
  4. Nirbho

    Nirbho Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Islam & Pakistani's themselves are the biggest enemies of Land of Pure. :)
     
  5. VCheng

    VCheng RIDER GEO STRATEGIC ANALYST

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    A doubling time of 25-30 years, with population approaching 400 million is an absolute disaster in the making, and probably unavoidable at this point for Pakistan. The world needs to be ready for the inevitable.
     
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  6. IndiranChandiran

    IndiranChandiran BANNED BANNED

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    I wish you elaborated on the problem at hand and the solutions being contemplated by the poltical parties .I understand there are a few NGO's and academics apart from concerned public thinkers who have been warning about this impending catastrophe.But has any political party carried population control in its manifesto .What about the TII or PML or PPP ? What seems to be their stance on this issue ?
     
  7. VCheng

    VCheng RIDER GEO STRATEGIC ANALYST

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    Political parties are actually celebrating this increase in population, calling young people a "priceless resource", in order to pander to the religious right.
     
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  8. IndiranChandiran

    IndiranChandiran BANNED BANNED

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    Oh well ! It's worse than I thought .
     
  9. VCheng

    VCheng RIDER GEO STRATEGIC ANALYST

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    I did not use the world "inevitable" lightly in my post above.
     
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  10. IndiranChandiran

    IndiranChandiran BANNED BANNED

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    Say , are you on PDF ? What's your id there , if you don't mind sharing ? If you aren't there now but in the past , what was your id then ?

    I get the feeling I've interacted out there with you.
     
  11. VCheng

    VCheng RIDER GEO STRATEGIC ANALYST

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    What happens on other places is quite often hard to judge. Who knows?
     
  12. IndiranChandiran

    IndiranChandiran BANNED BANNED

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    You know ,that last statement of yours sounded more like an Indian philosophising .I get the feeling your compatriots on PDF didn't exactly like you .;)
     
  13. VCheng

    VCheng RIDER GEO STRATEGIC ANALYST

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    Speaking the truth very often does not win popularity contests. :D
     
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  14. Zen0

    Zen0 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    Words to live by

    [​IMG]
     

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