Study group to work on social protection policy

Islamabad: A study group of relevant experts and stakeholders formed by the Institute for Political Studies (IPS) – in collaboration with the Council for Islamic Ideology (CII) – will help develop a social finance model Islamic law for sustainable social protection that can realize the dream of an Islamic welfare state in Pakistan.

The one-year in-depth study will conclude with concrete policy recommendations and a draft law for the federal, provincial and local levels.

The inaugural meeting of the project titled “Islamic Social Finance for Social Protection” was co-chaired by Dr Ikram-ul-Haq Yaseen, Secretary of the Council for Islamic Ideology (CII), and Dr Muhammad Tahir Mansoori, former vice-president President, International Islamic University, Islamabad.

The session was addressed, as keynote speakers, by Khalid Rahman, President of IPS, Dr H. Hendri Tanjung, Advisor to the President of Indonesia on Waqf, Dr Salman Ahmed Shaikh, Principal Investigator of the Project, and Assistant Professor, SZABIST, Karachi, and Mustafa Khan, Technical Advisor, GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit).

Participants included Omar Mustafa Ansari, Secretary General, Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), Bahrain, Syed Abu Ahmad Akif, Member, Prime Minister’s Inspection Commission and former Federal Secretary, Dr Abdul Saboor , Dean, PMAS Arid University of Agriculture, Rawalpindi, Azeem Pirani, CEO, Pak-Qatar Takaful, Dr Nazir Ahmed Ved, Akhuwat Foundation, Qanit Khalilullah, Chartered Accountant and Economic Analyst, Mufti Ghulam Majid, Senior Research Officer, CII, Dr Anwar Shah, Associate Professor, Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU), Islamabad, Ghazala Ghalib, PhD Student and Lecturer, IIUI, Numair Hasan Madni, Alkhidmat Foundation and Heads of Zakat and Usher Departments of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.

Dr Hendri, who addressed the online meeting from Indonesia, briefed participants on the unique measures taken by the Indonesian government to ensure that the charitable funds raised from its people are used for the benefit of poor compatriots and needy.

Dr Ikram advised the project team to keep the element of trust in mind when designing a social protection model for an Islamic welfare state.

He also underlined the importance of the achievement of ijtihad in the disbursement of Zakat and Ushr under the prevailing conditions.

The discussion focused on the role of mosques in collecting Zakat and Ushr within a locality, the potential use of technology in collecting and disbursing charitable money, and the need to redefine the eligibility of the beneficiary of Zakat in the current socio-economic situation.

Joel C. Hicks