KARACHI: Although there is no law that prohibits otherwise, the government has had to defend – and rightly so – its decision to appoint a member of a minority community in a top-tier government body.
Atif Mian, one of International Monetary Fund’s 25 brightest young economists, has been appointed by Prime Minister Imran Khan as a member of his Economic Advisory Council (EAC).
Mian, who is said to be a member of the Ahmadiyya community, has all the skills required to be in such a board, meant to steer economy towards development and progress. He is a professor of Economics at Princeton, studies the connections between finance and the macro economy and is co-author of the critically acclaimed House of Debt, which builds on powerful new data to describe how debt precipitated the Great Recession and continues to threaten the global economy, according to the International Business Times.
Many appreciated the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) stance of not giving in to the pressure by extremist elements and going ahead with their decision of choosing an Ahmadi as part of the council.
Journalists and social media activists took to Twitter and celebrated Mian’s appointment.
Earlier, Pakistan People Party (PPP) leader Shehla Raza was among some that criticised Khan for including the grand-grandson of Ghulam Ahmad Mirza in the EAC.
However, Raza claimed that the statement was tweeted by her social media team and not her. The tweet has since been deleted.
The leadership of the PTI on Tuesday took a strong stance on the issue, receiving praise by many. Information Minister Fawad Hussain told reporters, “Should we resort to throwing out our minorities from Pakistan? [Atif Mian] is a person who has been praised world over and it is said he will be awarded the Nobel Prize in the next five years.”
The minister also said it was like Atif had been appointed to the Islamic Ideology Council but was included in a body that gives advice on economic issues, for which he was a perfect selection.
Following this, many took to Twitter and applauded PTI’s stance in the matter.