Two economists resign from Imran Khan’s advisory council after Atif Mian’s departure

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Two more members of the Economic Advisory Council have resigned following the exit of Pakistani-American economist Atif R Mian.

Asim Ijaz Khwaja, the co-director of Harvard University’s Evidence for Policy Design unit, and Imran Rasul, a professor of economics at University College London, have both announced that they will not be part of the prime minister’s council.

Rasul tweeted saying that if there was one academic on the advisory council that Pakistan needed, it was Atif Mian.

Mian stepped down on Friday after the government asked him to submit his resignation following the controversy surrounding his faith. PTI Senator Faisal Javed Khan confirmed the news on social media.

“Atif Mian was asked to step down from the Advisory Council and he has agreed. A replacement will be announced later,” he wrote on Twitter.

Mian’s appointment had been opposed by different political parties such as Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan.

A PML-N lawmaker had submitted a resolution against Atif’s appointment in the KP Assembly.

Hafiz Ehtisham Ahmed, a member of the Lal Masjid’s Shuhada Foundation, had challenged it in the Islamabad High Court.

On Tuesday, the government defended the appointment.

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said: “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?”

Chaudhry said that people should not have any problems with the appointment of any minority, adding that protecting minority communities is the government’s job.

The 18-member EAC has been formed to advise the PM on key economic affairs of the country.