Social media users on Friday called out the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government for “succumbing to bigotry” following the government’s decision of removing Atif R Mian from the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) due to his Ahmadi faith.
Atif Mian was included in the EAC constituted by Prime Minister Imran Khan to help manage the crippling economic crisis. However, calls to have him sacked grew louder once it was revealed he belonged to the minority Ahmadiyya community.
Earlier in the day, PTI Senator and Chairman Standing Committee on Information Broadcasting & Heritage, Faisal Javed Khan tweeted Friday morning, “Atif Mian was asked to step down from the Advisory Council and he has agreed. A replacement would be announced later.”
Later in the day, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry confirmed that Mian had been asked to step down. Chaudhry explained that the decision to remove him from the post was taken to “avoid creating divisions”.
“The government has decided to withdraw Atif Mian’s nomination for the EAC,” he tweeted.
“The government wants to ensure religious scholars and social groups are on board and it is not appropriate if one single nomination prevents that from happening,” he added.
‘NOT ASKED TO BUT FORCED TO STEP DOWN’:
Commenting on the development, Journalist Shaheryar Mirza said, “Atif Mian was not ‘asked to step down and he agreed’ but Atif Mian was forced out because @PTIofficial doesn’t have the guts to stand up to bigots”.
I think we need to correct this tweet from @FaisalJavedKhan. Atif Mian was not “asked to step down and he agreed”. Atif Mian was forced out because @PTIofficial doesn’t have the guts to stand up to bigots.
— Shaheryar Mirza (@mirza9) September 7, 2018
Journalist Sabahat Zakariya slammed the government for caving to “religious gangsters”.
“Time and again social justice warriors like me are confronted with the haunting question: what’s the point? This country doesn’t give a f**k for being good or just, it’s only interest is in capitulation to religious gangsters,” she tweeted.
Ahmer Naqvi, pop culture writer and creative head of a video content generation platform, referred to Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, “who betrayed his own party’s secular and socialist ambitions by constitutionally redefining the status of the Ahmadiyya community as non-Muslims”.
“Yeah we all know zinda Bhutto made this law, and no party has ever amended it. But this is twice now that the PTI has humiliated itself and let down Atif Mian. Use your unending righteous fury towards protesting this idiotic move. Wasn’t PTI’s government the long-awaited dawn of meritocracy?” he remarked.