PESHAWAR - The Finance Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Muzaffar Said, has said that future of Islamic Banking is bright in Pakistan, and that banking sector must exploit this golden opportunity.

He said he was proud that his party chief Sirajul Haq laid the foundation of Riba free banking in the country that got country-wide popularity, whereas the entire world, especially European, Australian, African and American countries were also inclined to the Islamic Banking and had also contacted the ulema and economic experts for the purpose.

He was talking to Saima Raheem, Regional Head of Islamic Banking Division National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) who called on him here at his office in Civil Secretariat, along with Regional Banking Officer Tariq Mahmood Khattak and other officials.

She listed the efforts made by her bank for promoting Islamic Banking in the country, especially in KP and FATA.

Both also discussed matters pertaining to cooperation with KP government in this regard.

Saima Raheem told the finance minister that NBP had set up 18 branches of Islamic Banking in KP and one in Khyber Agency, with two new additions: one each in Dhamtoor (Hazara) and Chitral, whereas eight new Islamic Banking branches were in last stages of completion in Battagram, Buner, Hangu, Bajaur and Mohmand Agency.

Similarly she said that a target had been set to increase the existing 104 Islamic Banking branches to 150 by the end of this year.

Muzaffar, while lauding endeavours of the NBP for promoting Riba free banking in the country, said that being a national bank, NBP could be expected of such great role as per aspirations of the people.

He said that interest based banking was introduced by imperial powers to exploit resources of the people and suck their blood.

“Islamic Banking is based on human welfare and the entire world is now aware that Islam is the complete code of life and a welfare-oriented religion,” the minister noted.

He said that provincial government was going to take more steps in the new fiscal year for the promotion of Islamic Banking in the province.

He assured all-out support to NBP for Riba free banking on behalf of the provincial government.