ISLAMABAD- The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has formed the Shariah Advisory Board (SAB), which would be responsible to harmonise the Shariah interpretations and strengthen the regulatory and supervisory oversight of Islamic financial institutions (IFIs) and Islamic capital markets (ICMs) in Pakistan.

It will also advise the Commission on the Shariah-compliance aspects of various products launched and or the processes being adopted by the regulated entities. It will also provide guidance for issuance of new laws, rules and regulations for effective monitoring and supervision of Islamic Financial Products and to suggest ways and means for development of IFIs and ICMs in the country.

The Commission has designated Mohammed Asif, the Insurance Commissioner, to oversee the smooth functioning of the SAB, whereas renowned scholar of Islamic jurisprudence and Islamic finance, Mufti Muhammad Hassan Kaleem has been appointed as the chairman. He brings with him a rich experience of Islamic finance being the Shariah advisor to a number of Islamic financial institutions around the world.

Other Shariah scholars who have been appointed are Mufti Najeeb Khan, Mufti Irshad Ahmad Eijaz, Mufti Shabbir Hasan Maisami and Mufti Syed Sabir Hussain. Omar Mustafa Ansari, a professional accountant, and Sultan Mazhar Sher, a legal expert, will represent as technical members. In addition, Muhammad Kashif Siddiqee, Joint Director, and Tariq Naseem, Deputy Director, will represent the SECP. Ms Bushra Aslam, Secretary to Commission, will also be secretary to the SAB.

The first meeting of the SAB has been convened where Mufti Kaleem discussed the devising of a roadmap/future action plan for the orderly development of the IFIs and ICMs, while adhering to the core Islamic principles. The Insurance Commissioner, Mr Mohammed Asif, hoped that the SAB would play a key role in boosting this sector, especially in ensuring products innovation and ensuring a robust Shariah-compliant Islamic financial and capital market.