LAHORE: Following the removal of Dr Atif R. Mian from the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) on Friday and resignation of Dr Asim Khawaja last night, Dr Imran Rasul has also followed suit.
In a series of tweets, Dr Imran Rasul expressing solidarity with Dr Atif R. Mian announced his resignation from the EAC on Saturday:
Dr Imran Rasul added:
Dr Imran Rasul is a Professor of Economics at University College London (UCL).
Dr Atif R. Mian’s appointment had been heavily criticized by the religious circles, politicians and followers of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) which culminated in his removal in an announcement made by the government on Friday.
Dr Mian aged 43, and a scholar in the field of finance and macroeconomics is considered as one of the world’s top young economists.
On Friday, the prime minister’s adviser on media, Iftikhar Durrani, confirmed that Mian’s appointment had been rescinded.
Also, the government’s main spokesman cited regarding the pressure the government had to face from religious quarters.
“The government wants to move forward with the religious leaders and all segments of society, and if one nomination gives a different impression, then it’s not appropriate,” Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said on Twitter.
Earlier in the week, Chaudhary had defended Mian’s appointment saying, “Pakistan belongs as much to minorities as it does to the majority.”
Dr Atif Mian is John H. Laporte, Jr. Class of 1967 Professor of Economics, Public Policy and Finance at Princeton University, and Director of the Julis-Rabinowitz Center for Public Policy and Finance at the Woodrow Wilson School.
The EAC reconstituted last Saturday had been hailed by various quarters including on social media for its selection of some of the best economists, however, it failed to appoint any women to the council.
That resulted in a backlash by several quarters on social media in which the PTI government was accused of discrimination and ignoring many renowned women Pakistani economists for not being made part of the EAC.
Historically, EAC’s role has been ceremonial and its advice or recommendations have never wholeheartedly been implemented by previous governments.
Many renowned economists have served on the EAC previously which includes Dr Ishrat Hussain, former governor State Bank of Pakistan, Dr Hafeez Pasha former federal minister for finance and economic affairs and many others distinguished bankers.