Implementing the FSC Judgement on Riba: Addressing the How 

Islamabad, January 21, 2023 (PPI-OT):It is the religious and constitutional duty of all to lay out a roadmap for the conversion of the financial system of Pakistan to riba-free according to the injunctions of Islam and implement it accordingly. All sectors of government borrowing, external debts, the banking sector, the non-banking sector, capital market, as well as legal and regulatory framework need to bring changes at strategic as well as operational level.

This was underscored during a session titled ‘Implementing the FSC Judgement on Riba: Addressing the How’, jointly organized by IPS, IBA-CIEF (Institute of Business Administration’s Centre for Excellence in Islamic Finance (IBA CEIF), and Centre of Islamic Economics (A division of Jamia Darul Uloom, Karachi) at the IBA City Campus on January 18, 2023.

The session was addressed by Ahmed Ali Siddiqui, director, IBA-CEIF, Omar Mustafa Ansari, secretary general, Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), Mufti Irshad Ahmad Aijaz, chairman, Shariah Advisory Committee, State Bank of Pakistan and Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, Farrukh Raza, CEO, Islamic Finance Advisory and Assurance Services (IFAAS) Group, Dr. Imran Usmani, vice chairman Shariah Supervisory Board, Meezan Bank, and Khalid Rahman, chairman, IPS.

The experts highlighted that all of these financial and related sectors already have the capacity to convert existing non-Islamic procedures and means to Islamic standards by reinforcing the appropriate ways and means to implement the Federal Shariat Court judgment. The speakers further emphasized that the federal government must devise a conversion policy with yearly targets and proper monitoring of all sectors. This national-level strategy must be developed with the consensus and inclusion of all stakeholders to ensure coordination and commitment to Shariah-compliant guidelines.

The government should also focus on creating an enabling environment by consulting all related organizations, introducing educational reforms, and taking capacity-building measures for officials. Along with the national-level strategy and policy, sector-level planning is also significant.

Fintech, combined with tools of Islamic social finance, can provide solutions to challenges of financial inclusion through increased access to credit, financial safety nets, consumer protection, crowdfunding models, and microfinance and entrepreneurship development. These tools like the qard-e-hasana model, micro-takaful, waqf, zakat, and sadaqat, can also create economic justice in the system.

The speakers laid out aspects foundational to bring the required change in the system: a vision that is shared and supported by all stakeholders and trusted by the people; political willingness and sense of ownership; defined targets and processes coupled with an action plan and resources; legislation and comprehensive regulatory supervision and its implementation; good governance; capacity building; and, system development through technology and infrastructure building.

As the lack of awareness and trust in people with regards to change weakens the advocacy for the cause, therefore, maintaining communications at all levels to create awareness and consciousness among people is equally important towards achieving the goal of a riba-free economy, it was highlighted. They called for the need to keep talking about it at all levels and in all capacities to delineate that the Islamic financial system can provide solutions to economic problems, deliver justice, and fill the gaps and human needs.

In his concluding remarks, Khalid Rahman highlighted that while international economic dynamics may present challenges in some contexts, but in the larger context it provides an opportunity for Pakistan to contribute to the system by introducing a change that would fill the gaps and meet the economic needs of the world. He further underlined that transformation to Islamic banking demands a change in all sectors of the economic system and Pakistan, as it is in a journey in progress, can incorporate developmental changes.

In this regard, a culture of conservation, political will to implement, transparency, a culture of commitment to the constitution, the moral training of society, reforms through academic and educational channels, and work at constitutional, infrastructural, institutional, as well as operational levels in all capacities are the areas that need consequential improvements to carry out the change in the system.

For more information, contact:
Outreach and Publications,
Institute of Policy Studies (IPS)
1, Street 8, F-6/3, Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +92-51-8438391-3 (Ext: 122)
Fax: +92-51-8438390

The National Will and Determination of Azerbaijani People: Commemorating January 20, 1990

Islamabad, January 21, 2023 (PPI-OT):The world must condemn the brutality and violence of oppressor states as crimes against humanity and support the liberation struggle of oppressed people and their right to self-determination under international law, stated Khazar Farhadov, Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Pakistan, while paying tributes to the martyrs of the Black January massacre by Soviet troops in Azerbaijan. The remembrance session titled “The National Will and Determination of Azerbaijani People: Commemorating January 20, 1990”, was arranged by the IPS and Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Pakistan on January 20, 2023.

The well-attended session was also addressed by Khalid Rahman, chairman, IPS, and Ambassador (r) Syed Abrar Hussain, vice chairman, IPS, Khalid Taimur Akram, executive director, Pakistan Research Center for a Community with Shared Future, and Dr. Tughral Yamin, senior research fellow IPS and former dean, CIPS, NUST. The martyrs of January 20, 1990, are never to be forgotten as they paved the way to Azerbaijan’s liberation and sacrificed their lives for the territorial integrity, freedom, national identity, and sovereignty that Azerbaijan today enjoys, said Khazar Farhadov.

Commemorating the memory of the sacrifices of his compatriots who were subjected to violence, he apprised that January 20, 1990, marks a terrible tragedy, known as Black January, in the history of Azerbaijan as thousands of Soviet troops invaded Baku, brutally killed around 150 unarmed civilians, including children, women, and elderly people, injured hundreds of peaceful people, and unlawfully imprisoned around 800 people in one night. In direct opposition, around one million Azerbaijanis gathered in the streets in an unmatched act of solidarity and for 40 days continued the patriotic war. After only one and a half years, Azerbaijan regained its independence as the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Unfortunately, there are many similarities between this degree of aggression and today’s world where acts of violent extremism and terrorism motivated by hatred are at work to crush the freedom struggle and resistance of oppressed people, like Kashmiris and Palestinians, noted the speakers. Azerbaijan’s struggle for liberation and self-determination lies parallel with the struggle of Muslims of Kashmir and Palestine.

Both Pakistan and Azerbaijan have always supported the struggle of the people for liberation. Owing to the history of similar struggles and cordial relations based on common cultural heritage, shared perception of issues, and cooperation at international forums, Pakistan has always supported the Azeri cause against Armenia. Similar support has been extended by Azerbaijan to the cause of Kashmir, the speakers observed. However, the rapidly changing global landscape now mandates deeper cooperation between Muslim states to present a strengthened stance and unity. In this regard, Pakistan and Azerbaijan must strengthen their bilateral ties and work for common causes, interests, and challenges with the help of different actors like think tanks, said speakers.

Khalid Rahman termed the martyrs of Black January as a source of inspiration for all the people fighting for liberation and self-determination. He highlighted that Pakistan and Azerbaijan must strengthen support for this cause in Kashmir and foster their enduring cultural, geopolitical, religious, and diplomatic relations through various channels at regional as well as international level.

For more information, contact:
Outreach and Publications,
Institute of Policy Studies (IPS)
1, Street 8, F-6/3, Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +92-51-8438391-3 (Ext: 122)
Fax: +92-51-8438390

GCU Finance Body Okays Funds To Improve Student Services 

Lahore, January 21, 2023 (PPI-OT):The Finance and Planning Committee of GC University Lahore has recommended to the Syndicate a record budget allocation of around Rs. 500 million from the own resources of the University to improve student services on its two campuses. This will enhance the overall educational and research experience of the students. The meeting was chaired by Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Asghar Zaidi, with the presence of key members of the University, including the Treasurer, Pro-VC, Dean, Registrar and nominees of the Syndicate, Secretary Higher Education and Secretary Finance. Agenda was presented by GCU Treasurer Abid Shahzad.

In a press statement issued here on Sunday, Vice-Chancellor said that Government College Lahore, one of the oldest seats of higher learning, was granted the status of University in 2002, and there could no better way to celebrate the 20th anniversary of becoming a leading university of the country than to invest in improving its student services. One of the many key projects recommended to improve the classroom experience is the establishment of 100 model classrooms and 30 graduate rooms with the latest technology and resources including smart boards, projectors, speedy internet, furniture and other facilities. The graduate rooms will provide a space for postgraduate students and faculty to engage in meaningful discussions and collaborations, which will help to enhance their research and innovation.

GCU Vice Chancellor Prof. Zaidi told the media that the University is also investing in upgrading its IT infrastructure, with a budget of Rs. 150 million. “This is a much-needed investment, as no investment has been made in this area since 2013,” he added. The Finance body recommended a budget of Rs. 119 million for automating of different functions of the University through a comprehensive Campus Management System (CMS), which will be developed and deployed in the next one and a half years.

The University has planned upgrading its gym with a budget of Rs. 36 million to provide both male and female players with access to the latest exercise equipment and facilities to improve their physical fitness and well-being. A central life sciences laboratory will also be set up on campus to improve access for all students to the latest science equipment and multidisciplinary projects. This will provide students with opportunities to engage in hands-on learning and research, and will help to prepare them for careers in science and technology.

Prof. Zaidi said the University has also decided to renovate its 100-year-old Natural History Museum, which is one of its kind in Pakistan. The museum currently possesses around 6000 specimens. It has a unique collection of specimens, including a collection of butterflies, and is of particular interest to scientists studying taxonomy, ecology, and evolution. The museum also features a separate section for invertebrates and fossils collected from Pakistan. The Vice-Chancellor said this renovation would help to preserve the history and heritage, and would provide students and visitors with an opportunity to learn more about the natural world.

Prof. Zaidi said that these recommendations would be placed before the University’s syndicate for the approval. However, he said “the University administration is thrilled to have been able to allocate such a significant budget towards improving student services on our campuses. We believe that these projects will have a major impact on the educational and research experience for our students, and we are committed to ensuring that GC University Lahore continues to be a leader in higher education in Pakistan.”

The finance body also approved statutes of different departments of the University including the Quality Enhancement Cell, Directorate of Planning and Development, Office of Research, Innovation and Commercialization, Directorate of Sports, Directorate of Purchase, Security Office and Directorate of Information Technology.

For more information, contact:
Public Relations Department,
Government College University (GCU)
Squash Complex, GC University, Lahore, Pakistan
UAN: +92-42-111-000-010 Ext: 296
Tel: +92-42-99213343
Cell: +92-321-8440769

H.E.C has given permissions to start 69 new programs in the university, Director Advance Studies and Research IUB 

Bahawalpur, January 21, 2023 (PPI-OT):Director Advanced Studies and Research Board Prof. Dr. Asif Naveed Ranjha has said that the Islamia University of Bahawalpur has achieved international standards of teaching and research at postgraduate level following the vision of Vice Chancellor Engr. Prof. Dr. Athar Mahboob. The Islamia University of Bahawalpur has gained popularity across the country in terms of MPhil and PhD admissions. At present admissions are open in 149 programs of MPhil and Ph.D. The Higher Education Commission has given permission to start 69 new programs in the university keeping in viewing the high quality of teaching and research at the University.

The Islamia University of Bahawalpur has been recently issued NOCs to launch MPhil and PhD programs in more departments by the Higher Education Commission. The Higher Education Commission has approved new MPhil and PhD programs in Food Sciences and Technology, Leadership and Management, Patho medicine and Department of Islamic Studies with Specialization in World Religions and Interfaith Harmony, Islamic Studies with Specialization in Fiqa and Sharia, English Language Teaching, Information Technology Project Management, Data Science and Banking and Finance programs. As many as 69 NOCs have been obtained from the Higher Education Commission for the approval of MPhil and PhD programmes.

Engr. Prof. Dr. Athar Mahboob, Vice Chancellor, the Islamia University of Bahawalpur congratulated Prof. Dr. Asif Naveed Ranjha, Director, Advanced Studies and Research Board, Deans and Heads of Departments.

For more information, contact:
The Islamia University of Bahawalpur (IUB)
University Chowk, Gulshan Colony, Bahawalpur,
Punjab – 63100, Pakistan
Tel: +92-62-9250235
Fax: +92-62-9250335

Aqeeda-e-Khatme Nabuwat (PBUH) is the cardinal part of our belief and we will take all possible measures for its complete protection: CM Chaudhry Parvez Elahi

Lahore, January 21, 2023 (PPI-OT):On the direction of Chief Minister Punjab Chaudhry Parvez Elahi an Ayat about Khatme Nabuwat (PBUH) and a Holy Hadith has been displayed in the Central Committee Room of CM Office. Surah Al-Ahzab Ayat Number 40 has been displayed in the Central Committee Room of CM office. The translation and inference of Surah Al-Ahzab Ayat Number 40 states “The Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) in not father of any one among you male people but he is the Prophet (PBUH) of Allah Almighty and is the last Nabi (PBUH) among all the other Nabis. Allah Almighty is fully aware about everything.” Tirmizi Shareef Hadith Number 2219 about Aqeeda-i-Khatme Nabuwat (PBUH) has been displayed in the Central Committee Room of CM Office.

According to the Tirmizi Shareef Hadith Number 2219 the Holy Prophet (PBUH) said “I am Khatamun Nabiyoon (PBUH) and there will be no Nabi after me.” Chief Minister Punjab Chaudhry Parvez Elahi visited the Committee Room accompanied by Rasikh Elahi and inspected the Divine Ayat and the Holy Hadith being displayed. CM expressed his profound thanks for displaying the Divine Ayat and the Holy Hadith in the majuscule script. CM stated that Aqeeda-i-Khatme Nabuwat (PBUH) is the cardinal part of our faith and vowed to take all possible steps for its complete protection.

CM highlighted that incorporating Aqeeda-i-Khatme Nabuwat (PBUH) article eradicated fraudulent incidents adding that it was declared mandatory to write Khatamun Nabiyeen (PBUH) before the Holy name of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) in the academic books. CM lauded Ex-EN Buildings Maryam Rathore and her team for splendidly displaying the divine Ayat about Khatme Nabuwat (PBUH) and the Holy Hadith. Amir Saeed Rawn, Hamesh Khan, Khateeb Jamia Masjid CM Office Qari Sajid and others were also present on the occasion.

For more information, contact:
Mediacell, Pakistan Muslim League
30-C, Chaudhry Zahoor Elahi Road,
Gulberg-II, Lahore, Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-35878428
Fax: +92-42-35877329

PU Library club 5th anniversary

Lahore, January 21, 2023 (PPI-OT):Punjab University Library celebrated its 5th Book Club anniversary and arranged the book’s introductory talks. Chief Librarian Dr Muhammad Haroon Usmani, Assistant Professor Dr Shahzeb Khan, faculty members and a large number of students were present on the occasion. The two books of the month were “Pothohar: Khita-i-Dilruba” by Shahid Saddique and “What We Owe the Future” by William Macaskill. Dr Muhammad Haroon Usmani presented the talk on the Urdu biography of Shahid Saddique “Pothohar: Khita-i-Dilruba”.

He in his literary manner narrated some beautiful extracts from the book while describing the culture and history of the Pothohar region. Dr Shahzeb Khan presented the talk on the Book of William Macaskill. He discussed the main themes of the book and urged the audience to realize their responsibility and play their role in revitalizing the world for the coming generations.

For more information, contact:
University of the Punjab
Quaid-e-Azam Campus, Lahore, Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-99231102
Fax: +92-42-99231103