Home / International/ Pakistan removes economist from key role following Islamist backlash

Pakistan removes economist from key role following Islamist backlash


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Saturday, 8 September 2018 00:10


ISLAMABAD (Reuters): Pakistan’s new government cancelled the appointment of a renowned Princeton economist to its Economic Advisory Council, an official said on Friday, after a strong backlash against the choice of a member of the Ahmadi religious minority.

The failure of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government to resist pressure to drop economist Atif Mian reflects the increasing clout of hardline Islamists, whose parties won around 10 percent of the vote at the last election in July.

Faced with a looming balance of payments crisis that may force the country to seek a fresh bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), or other lenders, the government had picked Mian to join an 18-member council to advise prime minister Khan.

Aged 43, and a scholar in the field of finance and macroeconomics, Mian is regarded as one of the world’s top young economists.

The prime minister’s adviser on media, Iftikhar Durrani, confirmed that Mian’s appointment had been revoked, while the government’s main spokesman alluded to the pressure the government had come under from religious quarters.

“The government wants to move forward with the religious leaders and all segments of society, and if one nomination gives a different impression, then it’s not appropriate,” Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said on Twitter.

Chaudhry had previously defended Mian’s appointment saying: “Pakistan belongs as much to minorities as it does to the majority.”

The government, however, changed course following a widespread social media campaign criticising the appointment and protest threats by the emergent ultra-right Tehreek-e-Labbaik party.

Under Pakistani law, Ahmadis are forbidden from calling themsselves Muslims or using Islamic symbols in their religious practices. They face discrimination and violence over accusations their faith insults Islam, including impediments blocking them from voting in general elections.

The Ahmadis consider themselves to be Muslims but their recognition of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who founded the sect in British-ruled India in 1889, as a “subordinate prophet” is viewed by many of the Sunni majority as a breach of the Islamic tenet that the Prophet Mohammad was God’s last direct messenger.

“Whenever and wherever any Ahmadi is needed to serve the nation they will be the first to offer their services,” community spokesman Salim Ud Din told Reuters when asked to comment on Mian’s removal from the council.

 


Share This Article


DISCLAIMER:

1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.

COMMENTS

Today's Columnists

In the desert of Tamil films, actor Sivaji Ganesan was an oasis

Saturday, 22 September 2018

‘Indian Film,’ first published in 1963 and co-authored by former Columbia University Professor Erik Barnouw and his student Dr. Subrahmanyam Krishnaswamy, is considered a seminal study of the evolution and growth of Indian cinema. The book is cit


Imran may turn blind eye to blasphemy law and persecution of Ahmadiyyas

Saturday, 22 September 2018

There are clear signs that Pakistan’s freshly minted Prime Minister, Imran Khan, will make a sincere effort to reduce corruption and maladministration in the domestic sphere. In foreign affairs he is likely to make a brave attempt to mend fences wi


The rate of exchange, capital flight and the Central Bank

Friday, 21 September 2018

The Central Bank (CBSL) exists for the sole purpose of price stability. Its controls on the financial system and monetary policy exist to maintain price stability. As put forth many times by the Governor, the failing of the CBSL to control inflation


Red flag over the Sri Lankan Navy

Friday, 21 September 2018

Shocking story Rusiripala, a former banker in Sri Lanka, who has taken to writing in Daily FT, is perturbed by the red flag I have raised (Daily FT article 18 September) over the shocking charge that our Navy had operated a ransom gang that had abduc


Columnists More