–Info minister says there’s no justification for persecution of minorities and their rights in Pakistan
Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry on Tuesday defended notable economist Dr Atif R Mian’s induction into the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) reconstituted by Prime Minister Imran Khan last week.
While addressing media, Chaudhry slammed Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Shehla Raza’s tweet opposing the induction of minorities in EAC.
“I don’t know where is all this coming from. How can you justify the persecution of religious minorities and their rights in Pakistan? What kind of people are those who are levelling these accusations?”
The minister added: “He [Atif R Mian] is a person revered worldwide and a favourite to win the Nobel Peace Prize within the next five years.”
“We have appointed him as a member of the Economic Advisory Council, not the Council of Islamic Ideology so the criticism is hardly justified.”
“Pakistan belongs to non-Muslims as equally as it belongs to the majority Muslims,” he stressed.
Earlier, PPP leader and former deputy speaker of the Sindh Assembly, Syeda Shehla Raza drew ire of social media users for tweeting her opposition to the inclusion of Dr Atif R Mian, who is an Ahmadi, in PM Imran’s EAC.
Shehla Raza had written, “The creation of 5 million homes, 10 million jobs and the creation of South Punjab province all in a 100 days was a lie.”
“But this hypocrisy, the appointment of a descendant of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as a close adviser was unexpected from those who declared the State of Madina as an ideal,” she had added. However, she later deleted the tweet and blamed her social media team for posting it without her knowledge.
RECONSTITUTION OF ECONOMIC ADVISORY COUNCIL:
The newly reconstituted EAC comprises 18 members and is chaired by the prime minister himself. Globally acclaimed economists have been included in the team to provide advice over economic problems plaguing the country.
Before joining the EAC, Mian served as professor of Economics, Public Policy and Finance at Princeton University, the director of the Julis-Rabinowitz Center for Public Policy and Finance at the Woodrow Wilson School and the only Pakistani to be considered among International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) ‘top 25 brightest young economists’.