Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has promised coalition partner and Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam (F) Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman that the government will withdraw its appeal against the Federal Shariat Court’s (FSC) Riba ruling. Fazlur Rehman met with Shehbaz Sharif in Islamabad on Wednesday, and a JUI-F spokesperson told reporters afterwards that the PM had instructed the government task team to drop the plea. Riba is the Arabic term for “usury,” but it also refers to any form of “interest” on a loan. In April of this year, an FSC bench issued a decision proclaiming that Riba is illegal in all forms and manifestations and that the government must eliminate it from the financial system within five years.
The FSC court, which deliberated on the matter for for two decades, selected “the 31st day of December, 2027” as the date “on which the ruling shall take effect by way of complete extinction of Riba from Pakistan.” The State Bank of Pakistan and four commercial banks, including the state-owned National Bank of Pakistan, sought the Supreme Court’s Shariat Appellate Bench earlier this week to seek “advice” on how to implement the FSC order. This was described as the government and commercial banking disputing the FSC ruling, which sparked outrage among social media users and religious groups. According to a private TV channel, the prime minister has told Fazlur Rehman that the NBP will withdraw their appeal.
According to a private TV channel, the prime minister has told Fazlur Rehman that the NBP will withdraw their appeal. During the meeting, Maulana Fazlur Rehman expressed his concerns to the Prime Minister. According to the JUI-F chairman, the Muslim ummah saw Riba as the disease that devastated the country’s financial structure.