The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government on Tuesday defended a leading international academic appointed by Prime Minister Imran Khan to the Economic Advisory Council (EAC), saying that Pakistan “belongs to minorities as much as it belongs to the majority”.
The statement came from the Minister of Information Fawad Chaudhary amidst a vicious online campaign targeting the academic for his Ahmadiyya faith.
The appointment of Dr Atif R. Mian of Princeton University (Department of Member Economics and Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy) to the 18-member EAC set up to advise the government on economic policy was opposed by some individuals and groups, including Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), who objected to his Ahmadi faith.
A social media smear campaign erupted against the economist’s appointment, with many calling for his removal.
A large number of detractors, however, showed support for Mian, saying that one’s religion should not factor into their professional qualifications or employment.