London-based economist Imran Rasul became the second member of government’s Economic Advisory Council (EAC) to resign following the exclusion of US-based academic Atif Mian, who quit following Islamist backlash over his Ahmadi origins.
“With a heavy heart, I have resigned from the EAC this morning,” Rasul, a professor of economics at University College, London, tweeted adding he profoundly disagrees with the circumstances in which Mian was asked to resign from the council.
Rasul spoke in favour of Mian’s appointment to the advisory council, saying if there was one academic on the EAC that Pakistan needs, it was him.
The formation of the EAC and its composition offered a great opportunity to devise a better economic policy, he added.
Mian was part of the initial team announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan to guide his government on the economy.
Within three days of its rhetoric about the rights of minorities, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government bowed down to pressure from religious groups and asked Mian to step down.
While announcing his resignation, Mian said the government was facing tremendous pressure over his appointment from Muslim clerics and their followers. Hours later, another EAC member Asim Ijaz Khwaja, professor of international finance and development at the Harvard Kennedy School, announced his decision to resign from the council.