Economist Atif Mian will step down from the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) after a “unanimous decision”, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry announced on Friday.
The information minister added that the government decided to withdraw Mian’s nomination as it wants to avoid division.
“The government wants to move forward with all social groups and scholars and it would be inappropriate if a nomination creates an impression to the contrary”.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister of Pakistan on Media Iftikhar Durrani said the decision was unanimous and added Mian was feeling “uncomfortable” following the controversy surrounding his appointment. The special assistant added that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government and the Princeton economist decided mutually to withdraw the appointment.
However, Senator Faisal Javed Khan the economist was asked to step down and a replacement would be announced later.
“Atif Mian was asked to step down from the Advisory Council and he has agreed. A replacement would be announced later.”
Javed stated that Mian’s appointment to the council had been criticised heavily on social media and by certain politicians. The economist’s appointment to the Economic Advisory Council became controversial after a tweet by PPP leader Shehla Raza. A smear campaign erupted and many called for Mian’s removal from the top advisory body.
Fawad Chaudhry had previously defended the appointment saying, “Should we throw minorities out of the country? Atif is part of our economic council. The world is raving about him. People who say negative things about minorities are extremists. Every Muslim has a duty to protect minorities.”