Former deputy speaker drew public condemnation over criticising Imran Khan for taking an ‘Ahmadi’ economist in his economic advisory team
Islamabad: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Provincial Minister for Women Development Shehla Raza has apologised for a controversial tweet posted from her social media account.
The tweet had criticised Prime Minister Imran Khan for including a member of the Ahmadi community in his recently constituted Economic Advisory Council.
It generated unrest among a religious minority and inviting condemnation from social media users.
The EAC comprises 18 members and acclaimed economists have been included in the team by Khan, who will chair the council.
Raza drew the ire of social media users for tweeting her opposition to inclusion of Dr Atif R Mian, who belongs to the Ahmadi school of thought, a religious minority in Pakistan often persecuted by extremists.
Raza’s tweet came as a marked departure from PPP’s policy of liberalism and religious tolerance. According to party sources, the leadership took serious notice of the tweet and asked Raza for an explanation.
Raza later apologised to social media users and public at large. She explained that one of the members of the social media team she had hired during the election uploaded the tweet.
According to her latest tweet, she not only condemned and deleted that tweet but also fired the entire social media team.
“During election, social media team was formed. A member in light of words tweeted a statement, which is ambiguous creating negativity. I condemned & fired all, next I will run myself. I saw it now, busy in cabinet meeting. Accept my apologies,” the tweet read.
She has also drawn the authorities’ attention to three fake accounts in her name and requested them to take action.
“Three fake Facebook accounts are on my name which I reported many time. They are also spreading hate material and vulgarity. They demand gifts from my followers,” Raza said.
On the other hand, Khan’s recently established council is under public scrutiny and analysts have termed it a timely intervention to set the economy on the right path and for the “best possible professional advice”.
Mian has served as a professor of economics, public policy and finance at Princeton University.
Previously, he was with Julis-Rabinowitz Center for Public Policy and Finance as Director at the Woodrow Wilson School and is the only Pakistani to be considered among International Monetary Fund’s ‘top 25 brightest young economists’.