Pakistani Rupee Hits Record Low Against US Dollar Amid Imran Khan's Arrest
A foreign currency dealer counts US dollars at a shop in Karachi on May 19, 2022. (Photo by Asif HASSAN / AFP) (Photo by ASIF HASSAN/AFP via Getty Images)

The Pakistani rupee faced a significant blow on Wednesday as it plummeted to a new all-time low against the US dollar in interbank trade, witnessing a decline of Rs5.16. The decline comes in the aftermath of clashes between supporters of former Prime Minister Imran Khan and the police, leading to the suspension of mobile broadband services by the interior ministry.

In the interbank market, the Pakistani rupee was traded at Rs290 per dollar, showing a substantial drop from the previous day’s closing rate of Rs284.84. Meanwhile, in the open market, it fell even further to Rs295, witnessing a decline of Rs5 from the previous closing rate of Rs290.

The arrest of Imran Khan, the former prime minister and Chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, in the Al-Qadir Trust case on Tuesday triggered these events. Rangers personnel, acting on a warrant issued by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), apprehended Imran Khan at the premises of the Islamabad High Court, where he was seeking bail in multiple cases against him.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) later deemed the arrest of Imran Khan as ‘legal’ during a hearing on a petition challenging the arrest. Chief Justice of the IHC, Justice Aamer Farooq, not only upheld the legality of the arrest but also issued contempt court notices to the Interior Secretary and IG Islamabad.

The political turmoil surrounding Imran Khan’s arrest and the subsequent clashes between his supporters and the police have contributed to the financial instability faced by Pakistan, as reflected in the devaluation of the Pakistani rupee against the US dollar. The situation remains tense, with concerns about the country’s economic stability and the impact of these developments on the overall socio-political landscape.

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