The Taliban have rejected a claim by a high ranking Pakistani minister that trade between the two countries would be in rupees under a currency swap arrangement, local media reported on Sunday.
Kabul [Afghanistan], September 12 : Ahmadullah Wasiq, a member of the cultural commission, said the transactions between the neighbouring countries would be in Afghanis, Samaa TV reported citing Afghan news sources. This statement comes a day after multiple reports suggested that Pakistan would soon start trading with Afghanistan in rupees that may ease the burden on the former’s growing current account deficit.
Reacting to the reports, Wasiq said that there was no truth in the news that big business would be done in Pakistani currency. He even added that the Taliban attached importance to their national identity and they would never make a decision detrimental to the material and spiritual interests of their country.
Earlier this week, Shaukat Tarin, Pakistan’s Minister of Finance and Revenue, told the Senate Standing Committee on Finance that trade with Afghanistan would be in rupee now as the government wanted to save its dollar reserves.
Ahmad Jawad, Pakistan Businesses Forum’s vice president, called it a good move for the country’s importers too. “In a currency swap arrangement, countries that buy from each other pay in their respective currency at a pre-determined exchange rate instead of trading in US dollar. This helps save foreign exchange and strengthens their currencies,” he added.
Jawad had said that the Pakistan government must form a task force with representatives of the commerce ministry and other financial bodies to prepare a list of countries with which Islamabad could consider trading in rupees, The Express Tribune reported.
Mian Anjum Nisar, former president of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) said, “Our economy is at the crossroads in the wake of a dramatic drop scene of the US-led war in Afghanistan with the return of Taliban back to power, but in this crisis, Pak-Afghan trade can be multiplied manifold if the irritants are removed and traders are facilitated.”