A second economist resigned from Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Economic Advisory Council (EAC) in protest over Dr Atif Mian being asked to step down from the body.
University College London (UCL) Professor Imran Rasul on Saturday in a series of tweets announced that he had resigned from the EAC.
“With a heavy heart, I have resigned from the EAC this morning. The circumstances in which Atif was asked to step down are ones I profoundly disagree with. Basing decisions on religious affiliation goes against my principles, or the values I am trying to teach my children,” Rasul tweeted.
With a heavy heart, I have resigned from the EAC this morning. The circumstances in which Atif was asked to step down are ones I profoundly disagree with. Basing decisions on religious affiliation goes against my principles, or the values I am trying to teach my children. (1/5)
— Imran Rasul (@ImranRasul3) September 8, 2018
“I wish the government and EAC luck in their future work, and remain willing to offer non-partisan, evidence based advice that can help improve economic policy making in the country,” he added.
His resignation comes a day after two prominent Pakistani economists resigned from the EAC after the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government asked one of them to step down.
Dr Atif R Mian, a professor at Princeton University and Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy, had said he was resigning because the government was facing pressure regarding his appointment.
In the evening, the same day, Dr Asim ljaz Khwaja, 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 the news of 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.
On Friday, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had taken to Twitter, saying: “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,” Chaudhry had added.
PTI Senator Faisal Javed in a tweet had said Dr Mian has agreed to step down. “Atif Mian was asked to step down from the Advisory Council and he has agreed. A replacement would be announced later.”
Mian’s appointment to the EAC had led to severe criticism of the government.