Already the world’s sixth-largest country, Pakistan’s population could double to 300 million people in the next 40 years if the current rate of growth continues. Population and Welfare Minister Chaudhry Shahbaz Hussain announced new plans to promote contraception and smaller family norms as a way to stem the tide. This marks a major policy shift for a country where discussion of such measures was once taboo, he noted:
“There was a time when you couldn’t talk about family planning, but now things have changed and we are also bringing clerics on board.”
The outreach plan will focus on urban centers and industrial areas, and include contraception as well as sex education.