Friday Sep 07, 2018
ISLAMABAD: Two prominent Pakistani economists resigned from the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) on Friday after the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government asked one of them to step down.
Dr Atif R. Mian, a professor at Princeton University and Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy, had said he was resigning because the government was facing pressure regarding his appointment.
In a post on his Twitter account, he had said he was ready to serve Pakistan as it was the country he was raised in and loved a great deal.
"Moving forward, I now hope and pray that the Economic Advisory Council is able to fulfil its mandate in the very best way so that the Pakistani people and nation can prosper and flourish," he had tweeted.
"My prayers will always be with Pakistan and I will always be ready to help it in any way that is required," he had added.
In the evening, the same day, Dr Asim ljaz Khwaja, a professor of International Finance and Development at the Harvard Kennedy School and a leading international economist of Pakistani origin, also stepped down from the EAC in protest after the news of Mian's resignation.
"Have resigned from EAC. Painful, deeply sad decision," Dr Asim said in a message on Twitter, adding that "ever ready to help" Pakistan.
Earlier in the day, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had taken to Twitter, saying: "The government has decided to withdraw Dr Mian's EAC appointment."
"The government wants to move forward taking along ulema and all segments of the society, and if a different perception develops through a nomination, it is not right," Chaudhry had added.
PTI Senator Faisal Javed in a tweet had said Dr Mian has agreed to step down. "Atif Mian was asked to step down from the Advisory Council and he has agreed.
"A replacement would be announced later," he added.
The Pakistani-American economist's appointment to the EAC had led to severe criticism of the government.
On Tuesday, Chaudhry, while addressing the criticism, had said Pakistan belongs to minorities as much as it belongs to others. “What should we do with the minorities in the country?" he had asked.
"Should we throw them out? What is wrong with the appointment of him as a member of the EAC?
“This is the person everyone is saying will be the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in the next five years. Why should we not appoint him?” he had added.
“It is not like we have appointed him as a member of the Islamic Council,” the information further had said.
The notification stated the EAC will comprise 18 members, of which seven belong to the government sector, while the remaining 11 belong to the private sector.