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November 25, 2018

Population control next priority: CJP

Top Story

November 25, 2018

Manchester: The Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Mian Saqib Nisar said he would kick-start a campaign in December to raise awareness about the importance of having small families and he would start it from his family. “Launching a campaign to control a burgeoning population is my next priority and I will start it from my own family,” he said.

He was speaking at the Geo Television’s Live Global Telethon from Manchester which raised £2.3 million in donations — the biggest ever amount ever raised since the launch of the chief justice’s appeal for dams’ construction on Saturday. According to the recent census, Pakistan has a population of over 200.77 million and is the sixth most populous country in the world. In the '80’s the government started an awareness campaign titled ‘Bache do he achay’; however, the campaign going on for 20 years ended in a failure as the issue was highly sensitive.

During the telethon, the CJP announced the campaign for smaller families. He said: “In my remaining tenure, I will start another campaign. The chief justice said he would advise his children about the significance of having a small family. Keeping in mind that this is a sensitive matter for the society, he hoped the public will fully support and cooperate with the campaign. He said our resources are shrinking. Our population has exploded. In 30 years we will have 45 crore population, look at our educational and health needs, our water crisis and other issues. We will start population control campaign. We could have started it on 5th December but Prime Minister Imran Khan is busy on that day. Now we will now start it on 12th December.”

The top judge reminded the audience of the once popular campaign slogan ‘Bache do he achay’ (two kids are good enough) and exhorted his own unmarried children not to have more than two kids. The chief justice said he was first alarmed by reports of a looming water crisis in Pakistan during the hearing of a case involving dirty water in Karachi and generally in Sindh. Then soon after he went to Quetta for a case where the issue came up during his meeting with former Balochistan chief ministers Dr Muhammad Malik and Sanaullah Zehri. He said the project is a national patriotic duty and exhorted the British Pakistanis to help build the two dams. The chief justice said he was deterred by the idea of going out in public asking for donations but then decided not to care for what the critics say or feel as “we are a nation short of resources and water is life, it’s linked with life and our future generations will have nothing if we don’t have enough water and I decided to do my bit”. He said it’s the ordinary people who inspired him to collect money for dams. The top judge shared that he was disappointed in some of the most influential, privileged and important people of Pakistan who could have donated big sums for the dams but they didn’t. He said those who are privileged should know that they owe their positions to Pakistan. He shared narrated stories of ordinary people, kids, women and the disadvantaged who were a tremendous source of inspiration and went the whole hog to help him raise the money for the dam. He said a group of children sold their toys and gave him Rs 6000 while a young child gave him Rs five.

Speaking about the money looted and laundered abroad, the chief justice said those who looted Pakistan and sent that money abroad will be held accountable. The chief justice said he would not have to make an appeal for donations [for dams] if the money was not robbed from the country. He questioned how come nearly 3 billion rupees was transferred out of Pakistan to buy properties in the UAE and Dubai. The CJP didn’t name anyone as to how the money was sent abroad but asked: “How did you make Rs3 billion rupees property in Duabi and the UAE and how did this money go out of Pakistan? You will have to provide answers for that. All that money belongs to the people of Pakistan. That money belongs to the Pakistani taxpayers. You will have to spend it on Pakistan. That money will be used for construction of dams and I will not have to ask anyone for money for the dams.”

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s adviser and friend Aneel Musarrat has organised the event at the Seridan Suite which was attended by more than 1,500 people. The host of Capital Talk and renowned journalist Hamid Mir hosted the event.

He was joined on the stage for the four-hour transmission by Naeem Bukhari, boxer Amir Khan and British Pakistani community in Manchester including Aneel Musarrat, Riz Khan, Anjum Majeed, Bilal Maqsood and many others.

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