Celebrated economist Atif Mian, who was asked to resign earlier on Friday from the government's Economic Advisory Council (EAC) for his adherence to the Ahmadiyya faith, tweeted a brief statement surrounding the circumstances of his resignation in the evening.

The Princeton University economist said he had resigned for the sake of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government's stability, which he said had been under a lot of adverse pressure from Muslim clerics and their supporters.

He nonetheless said he was still ready to serve Pakistan, "as it is the country in which I was raised and which I love a great deal."

"Serving my country is an inherent part of my faith and will always be my heartfelt desire," he said.

"Moving forward, I now hope and pray that the Economic Advisory Council is able to fulfill its mandate in the very best way so that the Pakistani people and nation can prosper and flourish," he said.

"My prayers will always be with Pakistan and I will always be ready to help it in any way that is required."

The globally respected economist's statement had followed minutes after the resignation of Asim Ijaz Khwaja, professor of Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, from the EAC.

"Grateful for chance to aid analytical reasoning but not when such values compromised," he tweeted.

"Personally as a Muslim I can't justify this," he said.

"Ever ready to help. Pakistan Paindabad," Prof Khwaja said.

Government statement

Minister of Information Fawad Chaudhary had tweeted earlier today saying that the government had decided to withdraw the nomination of Dr Mian to the EAC "because it wants to avoid division".

"The government wants to move forward alongside scholars and all social groups, and it is inappropriate if a single nomination creates an impression to the contrary," he tweeted.

"Khatm-i-Nabuwwat [belief in the finality of the prophethood] is a part of our faith and the recent success achieved by the government in the matter of blasphemous sketches is reflective of the same connection," he had added in a second tweet, which seemed aimed at quelling the elements who had campaigned against Mian's inclusion in the council due to this faith.



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