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October 29, 2015

Govt to submit reply to FSC in Riba case today

National

October 29, 2015

ISLAMABAD: The federal government will today (Thursday) give its viewpoint in the Federal Shariat Court in the all important but unusually dragged Riba case.
Attorney General Salman Aslam Butt told The News that the reply, prepared by the State Bank and the Finance Ministry, will primarily reflect on the progress made so far in the field of Islamic banking.
He said the government reply will not give any timeline for the elimination of Riba (interest) from the Pakistani banking system.According to the Attorney General, the bench hearing the case had not asked for any deadline for the elimination of Riba but sought input about the progress made so far in the promotion of Islamic banking.
After a long wait of over 10 years, the Federal Shariat Court (FSC) took up the case for hearing in 2013.The court declared Riba as un-Islamic in 1992 but following the decision the then government of Nawaz Sharif filed an appeal with the Supreme Court against the FSC order. The appeal was filed through nationalized banks and others.
The Supreme Court again took years to hear this appeal and it was in 1999 that the Shariat Appellate Bench of the SC heard the case and upheld the decision of the Federal Shariat Court.The SC had given the then government two years to amend all the banking laws and other statutes to get rid of Riba.
However, the then ruler General Musharraf was not ready to implement the SC order.Later instead of implementing the FSC decision as endorsed by the SC, the Musharraf government again took up the matter with the post-2000 PCO SC, which in 2002 remanded the case back to the Federal Shariat Court.
As suited to the then government, the SC, however, did not give any time frame to the FSC to decide the matter. Accordingly, the FSC put the matter in the cold storage. After a lapse of almost 10 years, the FSC fixed it for hearing on 21st October, 2013.
Not only the continuation of Riba/interest in our banking and economic system is

unconstitutional, it is also against the teachings of the holy Quran and the Sunnah.
The FSC in its 1992 judgment cited different verses from the holy Quran, relevant Hadiths and parts of Islamic jurisprudence to unanimously decided against this un-Islamic practice that continues unabated since the independence of Pakistan and despite the clear constitutional provisions barring such un-Islamic practices.

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