Shaukat Aziz hopeful of Pakistan’s recovery from economic crisis

LONDON: Former prime minister Shaukat Aziz is hopeful that his country will be able to overcome its present economic woes and move forward.

Speaking at a dinner hosted by the organisers of the second Islamic Finance and Trade Conference here Tuesday night, the ex-premier said he remained optimistic on Pakistan which has moved a long way since its independence and will rise from its present troubles and do better.

Aziz spoke of Pakistan encouragement to Islamic banking and said during his tenure many licences were issued to initiative and promote Shariah compliant banking. However, he observed that Islamic finance needs more aggressive marketing to establish itself and institutionalise its products.

During the course of his 20 minute speech, the former prime minister discussed various aspects of the current financial global crisis, blaming it on excessive liquidity, loss of confidence and greed among the financiers, which had led to the erosion of capital market.

Voicing his support for free capital economy, Aziz, nevertheless, noted that linkages and interdependence led to a volatile situation and had brought the banking system to the verge of collapse.

“The desire for profitability and higher bonus caused these problems and the world became a victim of fragmented regulations.”The former banker noted the total absence of international financial organisations such as the International Monetary Fund and was of the view that both the IMF and the World Bank should have been upfront.

“These organisations are missing from the scene. There is no leadership provided by the multinational organisations in the current situation,” he remarked. Aziz suggested that the way out from the present crisis was bold leadership on the part of the stakeholders and strong wisdom.

“We are living in the challenging time. We need to retool and reconfigure to manage ourselves.” Earlier, Judge Khurshid Hassan Drabu, the first British Muslim Judge who recently retired as a senior Immigration Judge, spoke of the role of Muslim Council of Britain in the British society and said since its inception 10 years ago, the organisation had made its presence felt through its democratic and transparent way of working.

Source: The News, 30/10/2008

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