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.
Have resigned from EAC. Painful, deeply sad decision. Grateful for chance to aid analytical reasoning but not when such values compromised. Personally as a Muslim I can’t justify this. May Allah forgive/guide me&us all.Ever ready to help.Pakistan Paindabadhttps://t.co/j80LHEhfRK
— Asim Ijaz Khwaja (@aikhwaja) September 7, 2018
Rasul tweeted saying that if there was one academic on the advisory council that Pakistan needed, it was Atif Mian.
With a heavy heart, I have resigned from the EAC this morning. The circumstances in which Atif was asked to step down are ones I profoundly disagree with. Basing decisions on religious affiliation goes against my principles, or the values I am trying to teach my children. (1/5)
— Imran Rasul (@ImranRasul3) September 8, 2018
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.