Upon facing pressure, PTI takes a U-turn from appointing Atif Mian in the advisory council.

Atif R. Mian, one of International Monetary Fund’s 25 brightest young economists and a student AND professor of Princeton University (Department of Member Economics and Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy), was appointed in the Economics Advisory Council by Prime Minister Imran Khan. It was a brilliant step in the right direction for our country and many rejoiced that “tabdeeli” truly has arrived, after all the man was beyond skilled and qualified enough for the station.

Journalists and prominent personalities all over the nation took to Twitter to celebrate this brave move made by PTI in spite of all the pressure from our ever present extremist elements, including Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), Jamat-e-Islami and JUI-F, who objected to his Ahmadi faith.

Minister Fawad Hussain even went ahead to state that it was like Atif had been appointed to the Islamic Ideology Council and not a body selected to give advice on economic issues, for which he was an ideal choice.

All in all, PTI seemed pretty adamant on not bowing down to religious extremists in any way or form which was such a rather commendable.

“Pakistan belongs as much to minorities as it does to the majority,” Information Minister Chaudhary had told a press conference in Islamabad, amidst a vicious online campaign targeting Dr Mian for his Ahmadiyya faith.

Alas, this phenomenon ended up being too good to be true…or at least to be able to stick around in a country that absolutely REFUSES to acknowledge minorities as actual living people, despite being built mainly to accommodate them.

The backlash of this action grew to such an extent that it had to be backtracked.

A social media smear campaign sprung to life opposing Atif Mian’s appointment and demanding his immediate removal from the position. Molvi Khadim Rizvi even went as far as threatening our PM. A call-to-attention notice was also submitted in the Senate by opposition parties bearing signatures of PML-N, Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party members.

PPP, surprisingly, refused to sign the document making its refusal to being a part of a religion based witch-hunt crystal clear.

It may have been a step taking under pressure, but the disappointment lingered heavy in the air.

During a press talk in Islamabad, Minister of Information Fawad Chaudhary asked: “Should there be restrictions imposed on minorities in Pakistan? Should minorities in Pakistan be thrown out?”

“What kind of people say things like this?” Chaudhry speculated. “This is a man who the entire world is saying will receive a Nobel Peace Prize in the next five years!”

He also shared a message on Twitter regarding Quaid-e-Azam appointing Sir Zafar Ullah as Foreign Minister of Pakistan.

Among all the ruckus, one major question remains…what should a person belonging to a minority sect do in Pakistan? When you face intense hatred at every corner and where merit holds no weight, how exactly do you making a name and living for yourself? What does the white in our flag even stand for?