Saturday, September 8, 2018

Atif Mian Debacle: Should Imran Khan be Applauded or Attacked?

Pakistani-American Princeton economist Atif Mian was named to Pakistan Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council and then promptly let go because of his Ahmadi faith. Two other economists Harvard's Professor Asim Khwaja and University College London's Imran Rasool have since quit the council in protest over Atif's removal.

Princeton Economics Prof Atif Mian
Is Atif Mian's removal a victory of bigotry over meritocracy promised by Imran Khan? Was it a mistake to name him and even bigger mistake to remove him? Did the PTI government underestimate strong reactions to the appointment and subsequent back-tracking? Was PTI caught off-guard by tweets such as "liberal" PPP leader Shehla Raza's tweet attacking Imran Khan for picking  "the great grandson of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani" as top economic advisor?

Would PTI's refusal to remove Atif Mian lead to derailment of the entire PTI's anti-corruption and reform agenda? Should Imran Khan be applauded or criticized for taking such political risks? Does Imran Khan realize that he lacks sufficient political capital for such risks? What message does it send about the limits of Imran Khan's capacity to bring about change in Pakistani society?

PPP Leader Shehla Raza's Tweet Attacking Imran Khan for picking "great grandson of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani"

What can political leaders do to lead the people to greater tolerance of differences and acceptance of diversity in Pakistan? What must educators, mass media and civil society do to move Pakistan toward Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah's vision of an inclusive and tolerant Pakistan?

Azad Labon Kay Sath host Faraz Darvesh discusses these questions with Sabahat Ashraf and Riaz Haq

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

How Can Imran Khan Help Karachi?

Prime Minister Imran Khan's First Week in Office

Qauid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah's Pluralistic Vision of Pakistan

Social Change in Pakistan

Pakistan Rising or Failing: Reality vs Perception

Pakistan's Trillion Dollar Economy Among top 25


Riaz Haq Youtube Channel

VPOS Youtube Channel


Anonymous said...

Riaz Sahib Last Year PML N Government Tried To Change The Oath With Regards To Khatm e Nabuwat And Mishandled The Situation Grossly Leading To Nation Wide Riots.

Imran Khan Could Have Shown Intransigence and Continued With Atif Mian,But This Could Have Led The Country To A Similar Situation So He Showed Magnanimity In Asking Dr Atif To Step Down.

Fact Is That Khatm e Nabuwat Is An Issue To Which All Muslims Including Myself Are Emotionally Invested In And There Is A Class Of Mischief Mongers Who Will Exploit This Issue For Their Own Petty Gains.

Imran Khan In A Way Put Out A Potentially Explosive Situation

Samlee said...

Riaz sahib the real criminals are the self styled "liberals" like Jibran Nasir and Shehla Raza.There was no need to start spreading on twitter that he was a qadiani.Fact is these miscreants who Imran Khan called "khooni liberals" last year wanted to provoke a similar situation that happened last year so they can sell their "churan" in the West (Pakistan is so violent not safe bla bla bla)

Mayraj Faheem said...

I don't think the other Professors should have resigned. Showed insensitivity to current dynamics in Pakistan.
There is quibbling of what finally means.

Many Muslims believe that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be on him) is the last prophet and that no prophet can come after him. I shall first state and examine the arguments that are given in support of this belief, then show that this is true only in a certain sense.

Sikandar N. said...

My nephew did his Ph.D. from M.I.T. at about the same time as Atif Mian and speaks very highly of him. He knows him well and has stayed in touch with Atef over the years.

Anwar M. said...

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi on Ahmadis: We have to accept anyone who calls himself or herself Muslim as Muslim. Allah does not give us the right or the authority to declare him or her kafir.

Hasan said...

Riaz Sb,

In the 20 or so years that I have been following Pakistani politics, I don't think anything has broken my spirit more than the debacle over Atif Mian.

When there were daily terror attacks targeting marketplaces in 2009, when the floods ravaged the country to the complete indifference of the government in 2010, when US contracted Blackwater goons were forcibly stopping and harassing Pakistanis on their own soul in 2011, when a 14 year old schoolgirl was shot in the head for having the audacity to promote education for women in 2012, when 2013 ushered in five more years of power at the hands of a Saudi sponsored dynasty, I continued to pore over the news every day, reading from several sources including your blog, holding onto my stubborn hope of a new dawn. But when this new government, my last hope, Imran Khan's PTI, capitulated before the fanatics with such ignominious humiliation, for the first time in my life I felt ashamed to be Pakistani. And I will, for the foreseeable future.

We have now, with one final push, confirmed ourselves as a nation of people who refuse to accept any identity or ideology different to our own. All that's left now is for us to go after the other beleaguered minorities - maybe the Christians next, then perhaps the Hindus, the Sikhs, and after that possibly the Shi'as. Then maybe we can eliminate all the women from civil society as well. With the illiterate hate merchants leading the way, we just need to sit back now and let the nation filter itself down to just a sea of Sunni Punjabi Muslim men, of which I am one.

Ironically, this was one of the least valuable demographics when it came to Quaid-e-Azam's struggle; the Parsis, the Ahmadis, the Aga Khanis, the Bengalis, all the other ethnic and religious subsects did more to give us our land, and they have all, one by one, been crushed under the heel of our national bigotry. And my hopes and dreams have been crushed with them.