KARACHI: More than 90 top economists, including many working in Pakistan and 8 Nobel laureates, have lent their support to Atif Mian after his removal by the PTI government from a newly-constituted Economic Advisory Council.
“It is with dismay that I learned recently that Princeton’s Atif Mian, one of the greatest scholars on finance and macroeconomics I know, was disinvited from Pakistan’s Economic Advisory Council because of his religious beliefs,” Dani Rodrik, a Turkish economist and Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, said in his statement on September 11.
“Timur Kuran and I have put together a statement, along with many friends who support Atif. We already have more than 90 signatories, including 26 economists working in Pakistan and 8 Nobel Prize winners,” he said.Timur Kuran is a Professor of Economics and Political Science, and Gorter Family Professor of Islamic Studies at Duke University.Statement“We, the undersigned economists, believe that Atif Mian would be a fantastic addition to the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) of Pakistan. Professor Mian is a first-rate economist with expertise in development economics, financial economics, and macroeconomics,” according to the statement. Given this expertise, we believe that his participation in the EAC would be valuable for policy-makers, and his advice would improve the lives of the broader population of Pakistan, it said. Members of the Pakistani government pressured Professor Mian to resign from the EAC because of his religious beliefs.The decision by the Pakistani government to ask Professor Mian to resign from the EAC deprives the government of top economic talent. We express disappointment and disapproval of the decision to pressure Professor Mian to resign because of his religious beliefs. Such discrimination on the basis of religion should not play a role in deciding who can best serve the country.