Sir: Islamic finance has now become an undeniable reality as is evident from the spread of Islamic banking in the country. Nearly every commercial bank is offering Islamic banking. It is Pakistan’s constitutional requirement as well. Several efforts have been made in the past to introduce Islamic finance in Pakistan. Luckily Riba (interest) is one of those proscriptions of Islam which is mutually agreed on by all the sects.
The finance minister in his budget speech has announced the development of a committee comprising religious scholars, economists, bankers as well as government officials to promote Islamic finance. The result of this important step by the government will depend on the committee’s commitment. If it succeeds in clearly defining the underlying facts and the applicability of a Riba-free economy, it will benefit the country besides removing ambiguities from the minds of the people about Islamic finance.
Syed Hamzah Saleem Gilani