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Khalid Bin Shaheen Talks to CP
Mohammad Obaid

(May 2003)Khalid Bin Shaheen, Director- Home Remittance for G.C.C Countries and Vice President Habib Bank Limited stationed at Dubai, visited the Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia during first week of April 2003. The purpose of his visit to the Eastern Region was to work with Al- Rajhi Banking local authorities for enhancing the formalities for remittance to Pakistan by the Pakistani Community from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It was decided by Contact Pakistan Team to have an interview with Mr. Shaheen to have all details for the community. The task was assigned to Mr. Mohammed Obaid to have time for interview with him. The gist of the discussion of Obaid Bhai with Khalid Bin Shaheen is as follows: 

Obaid :      Assalam-O-Aliakum ! Welcome to Contact Pakistan family.

KBS   :      Walekum Asslam, it is my pleasure to be here for Contact Pakistan. 

Obaid :      Please tell to Contact Pakistan viewers about yourself?

KBS  :     I have done my MBA with Finance as major, completed International Banking           and Finance Diploma from London. I have been working with Habib Bank Limited for last 24 years. 

Obaid :        What was the purpose of your visit to Eastern region of Saudi Arabia?

KBS   :       Purpose of this visit to the Eastern Region is to discuss lots of pending items with the authorities of Al-Rajhi Banking. These items are for the enhancement of remittance to Pakistan by Pakistani Community, to boost up remittance through legal channel and discourage Hundi/Hawala. 

Obaid :        Will you please let us know the specific items which you discussed and will benefit Pakistani Community?

KBS  :        I discussed with authorities of Al-Rajhi Banking that remittance to Pakistan should be free of charge for Pakistanis. In this context all arrangements are being made and Inshallah we will shortly announce through local news papers about it. 

Obaid :        How many Pakistani representatives are working in the Kingdom to assist remitters to send money through legal system?

KBS  :        Presently three Pakistanis are working in the Kingdom to assist Pakistani expatriates who want to use legal channel for remittance to Pakistan.                 

a.       Rashid ul Islam- Eastern province stationed at Al Khaobar-05-216-1321.

b.       Mehtab A. Bhatti- Central Province stationed at Hara Riyadh 01-276-7267

c.       Sibghat ullah  Qureshi-Western Province Stationed at Bin Laden Jeddah 02-687-991 

Obaid :       Do you have any plan to open a Habib Bank Limited Branch in the Kingdom?

KBS  :       We wish to open Habib Bank Limited Branch in the Kingdom, but as you know every country has their own rules and regulations in this regard. Permission to open a Bank branch here is very difficult or I say impossible, will not be wrong. But for your information we will make effort to enhance our services by providing better facilities to our valued overseas community members. 

Obaid :       Is it possible for an overseas Pakistani to open an account HBL Pakistan through your representatives in the Kingdom?

KBS :        At the moment certain bottle necks are there as soon as we overcome and streamline the system we shall provide this service in the Kingdom. However at present it is the best to open account with Habib Bank Limited while you are in Pakistan on your annual vacation. 

Obaid :       Is OPF (Overseas Pakistani Foundation) remittance card scheme useful for Pakistani Community?

KBS  :       I will say that it is worth to have Silver or Gold Card to enjoy the facilities provided at the Pakistan Airports during my recent visit to Pakistan I enquired about the scheme and I was very pleased that OPF card holders were given VIP treatment at the airport as there are special counters for the card holders. Free issuance and renewal of Passport on an urgent basis. The Silver/Gold card holders will be eligible for Duty-Free allowance of personal baggage of a value of $800 & $1500 respectively during a calendar year. 

Obaid :       How about the “Hundi” activities? Do people still go for it?

KBS  :    Hundi activities are losing its ground, the strict laws by Saudi Government and the present arrangement of HBL through its correspondents in the Kingdom is defeating the “Hundi” transfer. The results are in front of us, Pakistan Foreign Reserves are over Ten Billion Dollars. I hope that announcement of free of charge remittance will boost the volume of remittance from the Kingdom to Pakistan. 

Obaid :       How did Eastern Region respond to your visit?

KBS  :       My present trip to eastern region was real great. I did have good discussions with Al-Rajhi Banking Management, met lot of business community from Pakistan, Pakistani Forums and visited lot of local companies and labour camps in the area. I did attend number of community gathering in the Kingdom where I had the opportunity to explain the Pakistani community how HBL is facilitating and making the procedure easier for remitting money to Pakistan. 

Obaid :       Will there be any deduction of money in Pakistan, after the announcement of free of charge remittance from the Kingdom to Pakistan?

KBS  :       No there will be no deduction of money in Pakistan it will be absolutely free. 

Obaid :       Last but not the least will you like to convey any message to Pakistani Community through

KBS  :       I am very thankful to for serving the Pakistani Community and covering all the activities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I wish to convey a message to all Pakistanis through Contact Pakistan “Please think for the future of your Homeland and always remit money through proper banking channels to develop a stronger Pakistan”
I thank you on behalf of for giving us opportunity to let our community know more about remitting money to our homeland. We are very thankful for giving us precious time 

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