IBA Karachi cancels Dr Atif Mian's lecture after getting 'threats from extremists'

My seminar at IBA Karachi has been cancelled due to threats university administration was facing, says noted economist

News Desk October 22, 2020
Atif Mian. PHOTO: FILE

The Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi on Thursday cancelled a seminar of noted economist Dr Atif Mian, who belongs to the minority Ahmadiyya community, due to the "threats the university administration was facing from extremists".

"Sorry to report that my zoom economics seminar at IBA Karachi has been cancelled due to threats that the university administration was facing from extremists," said Atif Mian, whose nomination was withdrawn from the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) following backlash from extremist elements.

The IBA Karachi also confirmed the cancellation on its official Twitter handle. "Dr. Atif R. Mian’s lecture “Why has economic growth fallen behind in Pakistan?” scheduled on November 5, 2020, has been cancelled. Inconvenience is highly regretted."

This is not the first time Atif Mian has been discriminated for his faith. In 2018, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government had asked him to step down from the EAC.

"The government has decided to withdraw Atif Mian's nomination. We aspire to forge ahead with the cooperation of all stakeholders. This includes people from all socio-economic backgrounds and religious scholars. A single appointment cannot be allowed to hold this hostage," the then Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had said in a series of tweets.

"[Prime Minister] Imran Khan draws inspiration from the first Islamic state of Madina. His cabinet members are lovers of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Belief in the finality of prophethood constitutes an integral part of their confession. The government's recent diplomatic victory over the Netherlands caricature contest is representative of this."

Atif Mian announced to step down as EAC member in a Twitter post. "For the sake of the stability of the government of Pakistan, I have resigned from the Economic Advisory Council, as the government was facing a lot of adverse pressure regarding my appointment from the Mullahs (Muslim clerics) and their supporters."

Mian's appointment to the committee drew heavy flak on account of his confession. Prominent critics of the move included Shehla Raza of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman.


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