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THE RISE OF ISLAMIC BANKING

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Khurram Zia Khan

on the last weekend of May 2022, Karachi’s Movenpick hotel is buzzing with excitement. An audience of 450 individuals is ready to listen to speakers from Malaysia, the Maldives, Qatar, the UAE, the US, the UK, France, Turkey, Bahrain and Pakistan. Another 4,500 participants would join the sessions online

This is the World Islamic Finance Forum 2022, a two-day conference organised by the Centre for Excellence in Islamic Finance (CEIF), housed at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA). One of the highlights of the events is a talk by Dr Miftah Ismail, the finance minister of Pakistan, who joins the conference via video call.

“We are working in the right direction,” Ismail says, while speaking about the Federal Shariat Court’s recent ruling stating that all banking in Pakistan should convert to Islamic banking.

“I think Pakistan as a country is moving towards full implementation of an Islamic finance system and riba-free banking,” he says. The process, he admits, may take longer than the five year timeline set by the courts.