Leading economists Atif Mian, Asim Ijaz resign from Economic Advisory Council

ISLAMABAD: Two prominent Pakistani economists resigned from the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) after the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government asked one of them to step down.

Dr Atif Mian, a professor at Princeton University and Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy, said he was resigning because the government was facing pressure regarding his appointment.
In a post on his Twitter account, he 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 tweeted.
Just minutes earlier, Dr Asim ljaz Khawaja, 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 news Atif 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 took to Twitter and said, “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,” Chauhdry added.
PTI Senator Faisal Javed in a tweet said Dr Mian has agreed to step down.
“Atif Mian was asked to step down from the Advisory Council and he has agreed,” the PTI senator said.
“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, Information Minister Fawad 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?”
The information minister had also questioned, “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 added.
“It is not like we have appointed him as a member of the Islamic Council,” the information further 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.