IBA, Atif Mian, economist, Pakistan, lecture

Pakistan’s top business institute cancels economist’s lecture over ‘threats’

The Institute of Business Administration (IBA) on Oct 22 cancelled a scheduled online lecture by Dr Atif Mian, a renowned Pakistani-Ame­rican economist, without mentioning any reasons.

In a post on Twitter, the IBA declined to answer queries from media outlets on the matter and asked them to rely only on its tweet.

“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,” read the IBA tweet.

IBA, Atif Mian, economist, Pakistan, lecture

Minutes after the announcement, Atif Mian himself took to the social media platform to share the reasons behind the IBA’s decision.

“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,” he said.

Identified as one of 25 young economists in 2014 by the International Monetary Fund who, it hoped, would shape the world’s thinking about global economy in the future, Atif Mian was appointed by Prime Minister Imran Khan as a member of his economic team soon after he assumed office in 2018. However, following strong opposition from religious organisations, he was asked to step down only days after his appointment.

The appointment of Dr Atif Mian of Princeton University (Department of Economics and Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy) to the 18-member Economic Adivsory Committee set up on orders of Imran Khan in September 2018 to advise the government on economic policy was opposed by some individuals and groups, including Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), who objected to his Ahmadi faith.

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