Sustainable development in Pakistan

Hafiz M Ifran

Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - Sustainable Development may be defined as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generation to meet their own needs” In other words sustainable development means development of those resources which fulfil needs of the present population and also sustain for the next generation and so on. The main thematic area of sustainable development is climate change due to which whole world is suffering and Pakistan’s case is well-known. You can take the example of 2010 torrential floods which 18 million people suffered. It played havoc and due to that calamity hundreds of thousands of people were marooned and inundated.

It is a human condition and also has a direct relation with environment. If there is poverty and illiteracy in the country then it will be a hurdle in the way of sustainable development. If people of a country are poor, they will not be well aware. Always, people who are well-off they are also well aware. Pakistan is the sixth largest populous country of the world and according to the State Bank of Pakistan in its 2009 annual report of economy, 62 million population of Pakistan was fallen below poverty line. After poverty the second largest hurdle in the way of sustainable development in Pakistan is unrest from which people are suffering since very long. Continuous deteriorating law and order situation across the country especially in Karachi, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is no hidden from anyone. Devil forces, terrorists are playing with the lives of the innocent people in these areas.

Our country mainly depends on agriculture sector, approximately 70 per cent of its income comes from agriculture and 80 per cent of working women are attached with agricultural work in Pakistan. There is need to make aware and to educate them about this important matter and to bring them in decision making process. If we bring them in this process, they will perform a very significant role. It is said that “in the formation of “Climate Change Policy Document” there was no participation of women in this policy oriented document. There is need to work on this. To bring awareness among the masses, media can also play an important role about the issue. For example smoke emits from brick kilns, factories, mills and from vehicles polluting the air. In rural areas people use kerosene oil and wood as fuel to cook food etc.

Smoke emits from kerosene oil it emits carbon and thus adds in pollution. Factories and industrial units emit chemical water and throw it in rivers and canals. Farmers use that canal water for their lands and this water is affecting the fertility of the fertile lands and deforestation is increasing. Media can tell people if we cut forests then air will be more polluted and chemical water weakening the fertility of the fertile lands and thus we are doing injustice with ourselves and for our next generations.

Government is trying its best for the wellbeing of the people and to make Pakistani economy strong. So that in terms of sustainable development people can be provided better living standards, educational facilities and their participation in policy making. Its recent example is “for the first time in the history of the country, the Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani has initiated dialogue with intellectuals, belonging to various parts of the country and having different shades of views, for the formulation of long-term policies of the government for dealing with the national issues. It has been given the nomenclature of ‘Dialogue with the People”.

Efforts are needed to provide better living facilities to the people, to provide them clean drinking water and to provide them better education. In this regard more and more educational institutions should be set up in the rural areas especially in FATA and other parts of the country. There is also a need to devise a strong strategy that law and order situation in Karachi and Balochistan can be controlled where people are suffering for years.

Moreover, there is a common habit among us is we blame our leadership and other people for all wrong doings. Contrary to this we ourselves we are equally responsible to bring change from the grass root level. Leaders come from us and they are human beings. So, we will have to take step, we have to bring change especially women have to come forward. Human condition of life cannot be improved if women are not the focus of it.

—The writer is associated with a media research organization.

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