Two Pak economists quit advisory council
London-based economist Imran Rasul has become the second member of the new Pakistan government’s Economic Advisory Council (EAC) to resign in protest against the exclusion of noted US-based academic Atif R Mian who was told to step down from the body due to a backlash over his Ahmadi faith.
Rasul quit after another EAC member, Asim Ijaz Khwaja, professor of International Finance and Development at the Harvard Kennedy School, announced his decision to resign from the advisory council following Mian’s exclusion.
“With a heavy heart, I have resigned from the EAC this morning,” Rasul, a professor of economics at University College, London, said in a tweet on Saturday. The economist said he “profoundly disagrees” with the circumstances in which Mian was asked to resign from the council.
On Friday, renowned Princeton University economist Mian, a member of the Ahmadi community, was asked to step down after allegedly receiving back lash from the religious groups and few of the political opponents.
Atif Mian was appointed a member of economic advisory council by Prime Minister Imran Khan. He is among IMF’s top 25 economist. Khan received a lot of criticism.
Mian, announcing his resignation on Twitter wrote, “For the sake of the stability of the government of Pakistan, I have resigned from the Economic Advisory Council, as the government was facing a lot of adverse pressure regarding my appointment from the Mullahs (Muslim clerics) and their supporters.”
Prime Minister Khan, in his first address to the nation, underlined the need for immediate, stringent reform measures and actions to put the sagging economy of the country back on track. He said that Pakistan must be able to stand on its own without aids from other countries, besides the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
Pakistan would require about $3 billion immediately to ensure that it does not default on loans from the IMF and World Bank.
— with agency inputs
Lead Image: London-based economist Dr Imran Rasul and Harvard University’s Evidence for Policy Design unit co-director Asim Ijaz Khwaja whi have resigned from Pakistan’s Economic Advisory Council