190524 pakistani rupee
Pakistani rupee has plunged against the US dollar Image Credit: Gulf News archives

  • The US dollar hit an all-time high against the Pakistani rupee
  • Pakistanis took to Twitter to urge the public to "ditch the dollar"
  • Some blamed the government for the recent economic crisis in the country

Dubai: As the Pakistani rupee plunged against the US dollar, Pakistanis requested each other to “ditch the dollar” in hopes of strengthening their currency.

Reports of the US dollar reaching an all-time high against the Pakistani rupee in the interbank market emerged earlier this month. As of May 24, the rate was at approximately Rs151 against the dollar.

Soon after, netizens took to Twitter to express their concerns over the devaluation. Many started the trend “ditch the dollar” and #BoycottDollar. They urged Pakistanis to get rid of any US dollars they posses and exchange the currency to rupees.

Rs151 to a dollar

Pakistani rupee rate yesterday after it hit an all-time low earlier this month

Prominent actor Hamza Ali Abassi, @iamhamzaabbasi, posted about the issue: “I don’t have a dollar account but my mother and sister have one. I am proud to announce that today they converted all the dollars into PKR [Pakistani rupees]. So, I request all of you to ditch the dollar and buy Pakistani rupee asap [as soon as possible] play your part in strengthening our currency!”

User @HibaSalman19 also conveyed the same request: “Please do this. Somehow, we Pakistanis are our own worst enemies. Please ditch the dollar. It won’t get you anything #Rupee #PakistaniCurrency”

Tweep @DontMessWthM3 thought that citizens need to unite with the government to improve and restore the value of the currency: “#FinancialEmergency The government alone cannot strengthen or stabilise economy alone but it is also the responsibility of every citizen to support them in these critical times.”

Speaker at the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, Mushtaq Ghani, @MushtaqGhaniPTI, declared it a “financial emergency” in the country and urged all residents to invest in Pakistani products. Sharing a video message, he tweeted: “My message for the people of Pakistan regarding #BoycottDollar and boycott imported items, and urging my Pakistanis to use #MadeinPakistan items to decrease our dependence on the US dollar. #FinancialEmergency”

Who is to blame?

In the video of him speaking to the public, he said that a “proxy war” against Pakistan was in works and the devaluation of the rupee was part of it.

However, there are those who blamed the Pakistani government for the issue and listed the series of economic plunges the country’s population has recently experienced.

Twitter user @qadir5000 posted: “#Dollar has gone out of control, huge inflation is just looming over us. Tax amnesty scheme given, #Pakistan takes 13th IMF [International Monetary Fund] bailout package, no real legislative work done, no real reforms pushed. I’m starting to feel we are in a driverless car, heading towards a huge fall.”

Tweep @KhurramHusain wrote: “Everywhere I go people are asking me about the exchange rate and the economy more broadly. I’m hearing stories of devastation from almost everyone I meet. But we knew all along that these days were coming...”

Then there were those who questioned whether boycotting the dollar was an appropriate strategy.

In response to Abassi’s tweet, @Imfarzanakausar posted: “Your family’s step to convert dollar account into Pakistani rupee is worth appreciating... but Hamza do you really think it is the solution to decrease dollar value?”