Under pressure, Pakistan PM sacks advisor

September 9, 2018

TEHRAN - The newly-elected Pakistan government, succumbing to the pressure from far-right groups, has asked a leading academic to resign as an economic adviser to Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Atif Mian, an economist who belongs to the Ahmadiyya sect of Islam, had been appointed to the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) last week by PM Khan. His appointment invoked outrage from radical outfits who called for his resignation.

Under pressure, the government quietly asked him to step down. Mian confirmed the news on Twitter, saying that he stepped down because of “adverse pressure regarding my appointment from the Mullahs (Muslim clerics) and their supporters”, adding he was always willing to serve his country.

Pakistan has a sizeable population of half a million Ahmadis, a long-persecuted minority that has not been included in the fold of Islam under the country’s law. The official position in Pakistan is that the Ahmadis are ‘heretics’.

Since 1984, when a draconian anti-Ahmadi law was passed, at least 264 members of the community have been killed in targeted attacks, bombings and mob violence, according to data compiled by the community.

Mian is currently a professor of economics at Princeton University in the United States, serving as the director of the Julis-Rabinowitz Center for Public Policy and Finance.

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