Pakistan Observer

Islamic banking in Pakistan!

Ovais Kamil

Thursday, August 22, 2013 - On behalf of the citizens of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, I congratulate Mr. Mamnoon Hussain on the historic election as the 12th President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. We are eager for his leadership, which will bring back our country’s integrity and respect.

On the opening ceremony of State Bank of Pakistan, the Founder of the Nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah said “We must work our destiny in our own way and present to the world an economic system based on true Islamic concept of equality of manhood and social justice.” So, in light of the Quaid’s statement, I would like to mention that unfortunately the most of the banking system in Pakistan is still working on the interest based systems, which is Haram (forbidden) in Islam. Pakistan has the meaning of “La ilaha illallah” which means we follow Allah’s orders at any cost, but regrettably we are not. The crime of dealing in Riba (Interest) is so serious that God has declared war against those who deal in it. Muhammad (SAWs) has cursed anyone who deals with Riba, the one who takes it, the one who pays it and the one who records it, as their sins are considered equal under the Holy Qur’an.

On the other hand, the Islamic Banking has various benefits for the society, both religiously as well as economically. The Islamic Banking is growing rapidly and currently it shares around 10% of the overall banking industry of Pakistan which was non-existent about 10 years back. In the last decade, 5 full fledged Islamic Banks are established and 14 conventional banks opened their Islamic Windows, but still it is not sufficient, as there are 90% customers who are still stuck in conventional Interest Based Banking.Also, there are many areas which are not covered yet e.g. Government Certificates, Bonds, Islamic Pension Certificates etc. Therefore, in order to make the country a true Islamic State, I urge Mr. President to take strong steps for the growth of Islamic Banking and Finance Industry in Pakistan. Finally, I thank Mr. President for consideration of my views and look forward to the response to these matters.

—Via email
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