London-based economist Dr Imran Rasul has become the second member of government’s Economic Advisory Council (EAC) to resign following the exclusion of US-based academic Dr Atif R. Mian, who was asked to step down from the body due to backlash over his Ahmadiyya faith.
“With a heavy heart, I have resigned from the EAC this morning,” Dr Rasul, a professor of economics at University College, London, said in a tweet.
The economist said he “profoundly disagree[s]” with the circumstances in which Mian was asked to resign from the council.
“Basing decisions on religious affiliation goes against my principles, or the values I am trying to teach my children.”
In a series of tweets, Dr Rasul spoke in favour of Mian’s appointment to the advisory council, saying “if there was one academic on the EAC that Pakistan needs, it was [Atif Mian]”. He added that the formation of the EAC and the panel’s composition offered a great opportunity to devise a better economic policy.
“Resolving the macro and fiscal mess the country is in will lay the bedrock for social protection, poverty alleviation policies and other economic reforms the country also needs,” he reminded.
Wishing the government and the EAC luck in their future undertakings, the professor said he remains willing to offer “non-partisan, evidence-based advice” that can help improve economic policymaking in Pakistan.