ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Tuesday defended Dr Atif R Mian, an Ahmadi economist appointed by Prime Minister Imran Khan as member of the Economic Advisory Council (EAC), saying ‘Pakistan belongs to the minorities as much as it belongs to the majority’.
Recently the PTI appointed Mian, one of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) 25 brightest economists, as member of the EAC to get his suggestions over policies pertaining to the economy.
Since the announcement of his appointment, the PTI government has been facing strong criticism from people belonging to a certain groups. They are running a campaign on the social media, criticising the government over the appointment and are demanding Mian’s removal.
Referring to the objections, Chaudhry said: “The Constitution fully protects the rights of minorities. Should there be a restriction imposed on the minorities or should they be thrown out from Pakistan?”
The minister, who was speaking to reporters after election of Dr Arif Alvi as president of the country, said the prime minister has appointed Dr Atif R Mian one of the members of the EAC — not that of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII).
“Addition of such world-renowned intellectual in the EAC will help the government to get valuable suggestions on the economic policy,” he said, adding people who have objections over Mian’s appointment actually belong to extremist groups or promoting religious extremism in the country.
Talking about the presidential elections, he insisted the election had further strengthened democracy in the country. Referring to the oppositions’ candidates Aitzaz Ahsan and Maulana Fazlur Rehman, he said opposition parties had fully participated in the democratic exercise.
“We have taken yet another step forward in our path to democracy,” he said, adding Dr Arif Alvi is a true gentleman and a deserving candidate to take the office of president.
The minister claimed that the PTI government had taken a very good start. He referred to a number of steps that the government had taken in the first few days including auctioning of luxury vehicles and plantation of 1.5 million trees in a single day.
“The way PTI government kicked off its term is unprecedented in the last 70 years,” he claimed.