The Askari Commercial Bank LTD (ACBL) and whether it has a branch in Lahore [PAK32570.E]

At the end of 1996 Pakistan had 43 commercial banks, of which 21 were Pakistani banks and 22 were foreign (Treasury Management International 1997). Seventeen of the 21 Pakistani banks were in the private sector and four were in the public sector (ibid.). The Askari Commercial Bank Limited (ACBL) is in the private sector (ibid.; Asia Pulse 1 Apr. 1998).

The Rawalpindi-based ACBL was incorporated as a public limited company in October 1991, listed at the Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad Stock Exchanges in 1992, and started operation that year in April (Business Recorder 27 Sept. 1998; Economic Review July 1997). The ACBL is a subsidiary of the Army Welfare Trust (AsiaMoney Mar. 1996; Economic Review July 1997). Shameem Ahmed is its president and chief executive, and Lt. Gen. (R) Farrakh is its director (Business Recorder 27 Sept. 1998; ibid. 2 Feb. 1999). Its chairman is Lt. Gen. Zia-ud-Din (ibid.). The bank received numerous awards from various international bodies for its outstanding performance in 1995, 1996 and 1997 (Business Recorder 27 Sept. 1998; ibid. 2 Feb. 1999; Economic Review July 1997). Business Recorder has described the ACBL as "having established itself as a star performer among the new domestic private commercial banks in the midst of crumbling, scandalised and fossilised banking system" (27 Sept. 1998), and as "contin[uing] to be a front runner among banks" (2 Feb. 1999).

In July 1997 the ACBL had 20 branches throughout the country (Economic Review July 1997) and by September 1998, it had 24 branches, with five branches in Lahore, four in Karachi and two in Peshawar (Business Recorder 27 Sept. 1998).

Only three addresses for the ACBL branch offices in Lahore could be found: (1) 7-A Shahrah-eAiwan-e-Tijarat (Yellow Pages National Directory 1996-97 n.d., 90; Jamal's Yellow Pages of Pakistan n.d.(a); ibid. n.d.(b); Financial Institutions n.d.). Mr. Shaukat Ali is the branch vice president and acting manager (ibid.); (2) 162 Tufail Road, Cantt. (Yellow Pages National Directory 1996-97 n.d., 90); (3) 77 Circular Road (ibid.). Although Yellow Pages National Directory 1996-97 lists five entries for ACBL, three are located at the same address (ibid.).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


AsiaMoney [n.p.]. March 1996. "Army Welfare Trust: Marching Ahead." (NEXIS)

Asia Pulse [n.p.]. 1 April 1998. "Pakistan's Askari Bank Profit Up by 30 PCT Over 1996." (AAP NEWSFEED/NEXIS)

Business Recorder [Karachi/Lahore]. 27 September 1998. "Askari Commercial Bank Limited." [Accessed 1 Sept. 1999]

Economic Review [n.p.]. July 1997. "Army Welfare Trust; Industrial Pakistan 1997: Industrial Groups." (NEXIS)

Financial Institutions. n.d. Local Banks. [Accessed 1 Sept. 1999]

Jamal's Yellow Pages of Pakistan. n.d.(a). "Askari Commercial Bank." [Accessed 1 Sept. 1999]

_____. n.d.(b). "Askari commercial Bank in Lahore." [Accessed 1 Sept. 1999]

Treasury Management International. 1997. "Pakistan: The Banking System." [Accessed 1 Sept. 1999]

Yellow Pages National Directory 1996-97. N.d. PTRC Authorised. Islamabad: Transworld Publicity Pakistan.