Imran Khan’s economic advisor Atif Mian axed after pressure from religious groups

Islamabad | The newly formed Imran Khan’s government in Pakistan has come into severe criticism after renowned Economist Atif Mian was removed from the post of Prime Minister’s Economic Advisor.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senator Faisal Javed Khan on Friday announced about the government’s decision. He tweeted, “Atif Mian was asked to step down from the Advisory Council and he has agreed. A replacement would be announced later.”

According to sources, the Imran Khan Government was forced to make this decision after constant pressure from several religious groups over the appointment of the Princeton University economist who belongs to the minority Ahmadi Community. The Mian’s appointment to the 8-member EAC set up to advise the government on economic policy was opposed by some individuals and groups, including Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP).

Earlier the government defended Mian’s appointment to the EAC saying in categorical terms that it will “not bow to extremists”. Speaking to media, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhary said, “Pakistan belongs as much to minorities as it does to the majority.”

Dr. Atif Mian is the only Pakistani to be considered among International Monetary Fund’s ‘top 25 brightest young economists’. Mian also served as a professor of economics, public policy and finance at Princeton University and as director of The Julis-Rabinowitz Centre for Public Policy and Finance at Woodrow Wilson School.

Mian who belong to the Ahmadi community were declared non-Muslims in Pakistan in 1975 after former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto passed a constitutional amendment. The Ahmadi community forms around 0.02% and 2.2% of total Pakistan’s population.

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