LAHORE - The Institute for Policy Reforms has clarified a news, which was published in The Nation on March 2016, with the headline “Dr Pasha quits as govt pressure mounts on IPR”.

The news opined that now the “Institute for Policy Reforms will virtually be dead”. According to a press release issued by the IPR on Wednesday, facts show that IPR is alive and doing well. In February, it issued two major documents after Dr Pasha’s resignation. The report on Strengthening Stabilization and Economic Growth shared important recommendations on economic revival. “Facts about PIA” recommended restructuring PIA. Both documents received wide coverage. One of them is being used as a case study in an academic institution. These are available on IPR’s website.

According to the press release, there were no differences between Chairman IPR and Dr Pasha. Statement of “Akhtar brothers tried to stop these fact sheets” is grossly misplaced. “Let alone stopping publication, at no time was any advice given to any writer, including Dr Pasha, to amend editorial or analytical content,” press release said. All IPR documents, including fact sheets, are issued with the chairman’s approval, and some of these may be considered critical of government’s policy. IPR documents are based on research, evidence, and knowledge. “We have issued such documents at all times in the past and will continue to do so. We do not give importance to whether our publications align with or challenge government policies,” release added.

IPR has never felt pressured by government. Dr Pasha’s spouse, a learned economist, is the finance minister of Punjab. He has never allowed this fact to come in the way of his IPR work. As reported in the press, Dr Pasha recently accepted a position with the government as chair of a high-level committee to strengthen in-service training of civil servants. Government, therefore, did not need to pressurize IPR or Dr Pasha indirectly. “If the news of his appointment were correct, IPR’s practice would not have allowed Dr Pasha to continue with the institution after accepting the position.”

“We very much respect Dr Pasha’s good contributions for IPR. However, the Institute has high broad based talent. There is no danger of it losing effectiveness. IPR will continue to provide independent policy inputs and analyses.”