PR No.191 Islamabad

President Mamnoon Hussain Wednesday called upon the banking experts and Ulema (religious leaders) to jointly focus their research on finding a workable strategy for promoting Islamic banking in the country.

Addressing a national seminar on ‘Islamic banking and finance: Prospects and challenges’ here at the Islamic International University, the President said the benefits of Islamic financial system should reach the common man to end poverty.

The President said Islamic banking had immense potential of growth in Pakistan, adding that the subject needed profound research by the relevant experts. He said for being Muslim citizens of this country, it was obligatory to work for implementing Islamic financial system.

The President said the Islamic banking system was being given patronage at the government-level. He said there was a need to flourish the culture of research in the country to explore the horizons of knowledge, which he said was a key to success for a nation.

The President said economics had outclassed the importance of politics in global scenario, and said with research-based knowledge, a country could achieve economic stability and prosperity. He said the government during the two and a half years had made remarkable progress in stabilizing the economy which was also acknowledged by the international monetary rating organizations.

The President mentioned that corruption had negatively impacted the very fabric of society and emphasized on waging a Jihad against this menace. He pointed out that during tenures of the past governments, no significant development projects were carried out. President Mamnoon said the Kalabagh dam project was made controversial while the Rental Power Projects were launched wherein, massive financial corruption was made. He mentioned that during his meeting with Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, he proposed for opening of a campus of Islamic International University in Saudi Arabia. He said the step would help Pakistani expatriates continue their goals of higher education.

Deputy Governor State Bank of Pakistan Saeed Ahmed said implementation of Islamic financial system was important to ensure social justice for the people through micro-finance to end poverty. He said at present, five banks in the country were entirely Islamic, one was a subsidiary branch of a bank while 16 banks were offering both conventional and Islamic systems to consumers. About the challenges in the implementation of Islamic financial system, he mentioned lack of enabling environment, research and qualified human resource and increased taxation on Islamic banks as compared to their conventional counterparts.

Head of Dar-ul-Uloom Karachi Mufti Muhammad Rafi Osmani, President IIU Professor Ahmed Yusuf Al Darvesh and Rector IIU Dr Masoom Yasinzai also spoke on the occasion. Earlier, President Mamnoon Hussain visited the Islamic Research Department’s historic gallery and termed the ‘Allama Iqbal Section’an excellent addition to the university hall.