The Reason why IBA Cancelled Atif Mian’s Lecture

Dr Atif Mian

The Major Reason

The Ahmadis were declared non-Muslims and minority in Pakistan by a constitutional amendment passed on September 7, 1974, during the reign of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

The move was later followed by Gen Ziaul Haq which made it a punishable offense for Ahmadis to call themselves Muslims or to call their religion as Islam.

Dr Mian became the most talked about name in Pakistan in 2018 after the PTI government appointed him to assist Imran Khan in the Economic Advisory Council (EAC), an 18-member task team set up to advise the newly formed government on economic policy.

Less than a month after taking office, the government asked Mian to resign from the EAC amid growing religious and political repression and a mockery of social media campaigning for his removal because of Ahmadiyya religion. And from that time majority of Pakistanis knows about the religion of Atif Mian.

In protest of Mian’s exclusion, two other EAC members – Professor Dr Asim Ijaz Khwaja of Harvard Kennedy School and London-based economist Dr Imran Rasul – also resigned from the council.

Dr. Mian has worked as a professor of economics, public policy and finance at Princeton University and was the director of The Julis-Rabinowitz Center for Public Policy and Finance at Woodrow Wilson School. He is the only Pakistani to be considered among the ‘highly enlightened’ young economists of the International Monetary Fund.

The Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi has canceled an online conference that would feature renowned economist Dr Atif Mian, the university announced on Thursday, allegedly under pressure from “extremists”.

IBA’s Narrative

“Dr Atif R. Mian’s speech ‘Why has economic growth lagged behind in Pakistan?’ The scheduled date of November 5, 2020, has been canceled. We deeply regret the inconvenience, “read a brief report written by the official IBA Karachi account on Twitter.

What Mian Said

In a tweet, Dr Atif Mian said he was sorry to report that the seminar, which was to take place over Zoom, had been cancelled “due to threats that the university administration was facing from extremists”.

On Twitter, Mian said he was sorry to report that the meeting, which was to be held at Zoom, had been canceled “because of threats by university officials against terrorists”.

“I wish you all the best and prayers for IBA students,” wrote an economist at Princeton University.

‘The Opportunity Lost’
Scholars, journalists and others have expressed regret over the cancellation of Mian’s Conference at IBA Karachi.

“Too bad. What a loss! We are all captives,” wrote sociologist and academic Nida Kirmani in a tweet.

Journalist Zarrar Khuhro asked why the university had originally planned the Atif Mian lecture, saying it was “not rocket science” to speculate that the program would be bad.