Dawn – Civil society in Islamabad protests ‘forced resignation’ of economist from advisory council

Islamabad Capital Territory, Pakistan, 11 September 2018. Members of the civil society on Monday staged a protest outside the National Press Club against the ‘forced resignation’ of Dr Atif Mian from the recently-constituted Economic Advisory Council (EAC).

Participants of the protest, organised by Awami Workers party (AWP), decried the PTI government’s ‘Naya Pakistan’ claim.

Former PPP senator Farhatullah Babar described government’s action as stepping on a ‘slippery slope’, adding that “if the government remains on this place it will continue to be blackmailed by the religious elements”.

The civil society activists spoke against the ‘removal’ of a world-renowned economist from the council on the basis of religious affiliation.

Dr Farzana Bari said it was the duty of all Pakistanis to speak up against the systematic use of religion as a political weapon that had now reached epidemic proportions.

AWP leaders Alia Amirali and Ammar Rashid said progressive forces must come together to challenge the status quo.

They said that the AWP welcomed efforts of all progressive forces within and outside the parliament to work together to initiate efforts for curriculum reform and banning of hate speech on media.

Other speakers included Dr A H Nayyar and Tahira Abdullah who slammed the PTI government for taking a U-turn on Atif Mian’s appointment and welcomed all erstwhile PTI supporters who are now starting to realise that building ‘Naya Pakistan’ is nothing but a hollow slogan.