Sir: AtifMianis a Pakistani and got his early education here. To get higher education, he moved to USA. In USA, he joined Princeton University where he did MSc in Mathematics and computer science, and a PhD in economics. He is the only Pakistani to be considered among the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) top 25 economists. Financial times has declared his book “House of Dept” the best book of the year.
Initially, the government appointed him the member of the Economic Advisory Council. Then the government back tracked from their decision after pressure from the religious community and asked him to resign from the EAC, to which he agreed. I think this is not a fair decision that was taken by the government.
The only concern or problem raised by the people against his appointment was that he belongs to the Ahmedi community. If we look at his personality, without the prism of religion, he is a brilliant and internationally renowned economist. I think he is the best option and eligible to become the member of the Economic Advisory Council. I see a lot of propaganda against him in media and on social media only on the basis of his faith that does not seems to be fair.
If we trade with non-Muslims countries and rely on their inventions and goods, why can’t we appoint AtifMian? If Ahmedis are not allowed to get government positions in our country, why did Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah appointed Zafarullah as the first foreign minister of Pakistan even though he was also an Ahmedi.
We should not judge Dr.Atif on basis of his faith, but we ought to judge him on the basis of his work and capabilities. This kind of religious extremism seems to be on the rise and is not a good sign for the future of Pakistan.
AFTAB ALI BAIG
Published in Daily Times, September 10th 2018.