Pakistan is facing multifarious issues, including malnutrition, hunger, unemployment, low life expectancy, and food insecurity. The most horrifying issue is poverty. It is said that poverty is the mother of all evils.
Poverty is creating many hurdles in Pakistan’s sustainable development. It is a heinous disease that makes any country incapable of competing in the fields of prosperity and progress. It also makes a country ineffectual to vie with any country economically. Poverty pushes a country into a quicksand, and neither that country can rescue itself nor its public from any crisis. In Pakistan, poverty is increasing at an alarming rate, and there are not many precautionary measures through which the country can be protected and brought on the track of development.
In 2020, Pakistan ranked 154th on the human development index, with its 38 percent population living in multidimensional poverty. The Global Multidimensional Poverty Index noted that Pakistan is comparable with Afghanistan for its severe poverty.
It has been estimated that Pakistan has 220 million population in 2021, and its growth rate is 1.95 percent per year, adding 5.28 million people per year to its population. Pakistan is projected to surpass Indonesia in population size by the year 2048. If the increase per year remains constant and government of Pakistan is unable create more jobs, almost half of the population will be constrained to live below the poverty line, which will, directly and indirectly, have an adverse impact on the prosperity of Pakistan.
The growth of population remains a massive challenge for Pakistan’s progress. According to a research, the 60 percent population is below the age of 25, and the birth rate per woman is 3.5, so providing quality education, health facilitates and employment for youth will remain an issue that cannot be easily solved. Pakistan is concerned about controlling ailments, but it has not even managed to eradicate polio that has become non-existent across the globe.
In Pakistan, the literacy rate is at 59 percent, and women literacy rate is 50 percent in comparison to the male literacy rate of 68 percent. Many students do not have access to quality education in school and college, and therefore many of our young graduates remain jobless after getting degrees, unable to earn enough to meet both ends. Consequently, they also contribute to the burgeoning poverty.
In the agriculture sector if there is not a huge yield from a crop, farmers move to growing other stuff. When there is little production of cotton how will the industries run? In the last two decades, cotton’s production has de-escalated owing to hostile conditions, such as shortage of water, pest attacks and changing of weather. The current government must look after farmers in distress. When farmers work enthusiastically, their efforts will bring great changes in the field of agriculture. After a huge boon, they will leave no stone unturned to do their part to change the economic conditions of Pakistan.
According to the recent weekly report of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, inflation has risen to 12.66 percent. The highest recorded rate of unemployment of 16 percent in the educated middle class is from 2018 to 2020. Relief must be given to middle class people. Only the rich people are doing well now, as no poor person can survive the rising prices of things.
The current government has crossed all limits. Notwithstanding poverty, prices are rising on a day-to-day basis. Every edible thing is costly. Every new day brings a new horror for the poor. Due to inflation, many people committed suicide in the last few years. In today’s time, government employees can feed their children and run their households, but a daily wager cannot fulfil all the requirements of his children with his empty hands. Prices of basic things, such as cooking oil, sugar, rice, and flour, have hugely increased.
In 2018, the inflation rate was recorded at 3.93 percent, but within three years it has reached 12.66 percent. It is a very frightening time for daily wage labourers who earn meagre amounts of money; how are they supposed to deal with this inflation? Before the 2018 elections, PTI promised the nation that it would bring down rates of basic food items after coming into power and would work to reduce poverty from the country. PTI has failed to keep its promises.
The government as well as the nation must work together to eradicate the mushrooming poverty, which is a great threat for the future of Pakistan. Our people should realise that come what may, we must make our country free of poverty. We must give our level best to ensure its extinction. When there is no poverty, everybody will be able to have a good life, and there will be no crime in Pakistan.