PESHAWAR – The devalued currency of Pakistan has apparently gained the value in at least one eastern province of Afghanistan where traders, merchants and shopkeepers prefer Pakistani Rupee over local currency.
The popularity of Pakistani Rupee comes as a surprise to anyone as its even weaker than Afghani (local currency). According to the international currency exchange rates one Afghani is equal to 1.72 Pakistani Rupee.
Afghanistan’s media outlet reported that the rupee has become a common alternative, and in some cases the preference, in commercial exchanges throughout Nangarhar.
For many people, the two currencies are simply interchangeable, and are applied the same rate. “Our fare is stable, pay me 60 Pakistani rupees or 60 Afghanis, it doesn’t matter,” one rickshaw driver in the provincial capital of Jalalabad said.
Others appear much more decided on the subject, and overwhelmingly in favor of the rupee.
“Only Pakistani rupees have credibility in Nangarhar’s markets, people get hurt if they use Afghani in transactions,” another rickshaw driver in Jalalabad named Mohammad Mir said.
Some residents said the biggest impediment to Afghani dominance in the markets of Nangarhar is the fact that most people don’t know what the value of the currency is.
“Some of our costumers do not know about the value of the Afghani, and when we rate by Afghani, they do not know how to change, so we have to use Pakistani rupees,” one businessmen named Abdul Hodod said.