Residents of remote district in Helmand hesitant to switch to national currency from Pakistani rupees

Residents of Garmsir district in the southern province of Helmand have preferred to use Pakistani rupees in their daily transactions for nearly three decades, leaving many in a state to be unfamiliar with Afghanistan’s currency.

Some residents of the district said they have “never seen or used” the country’s currency.

“People working in the bazaar are familiar with afghani currency but when you go to villages they do not know afghani at all and when you hand over 10 afghan banknotes they say what is this and do not accept it and ask for Kaldar (Pakistani rupee),” said Baran, a resident of Garmsir.

“A customer came to me and I gave him a five afghani coin, but he said this is not valid and this is not rupee and give me rupee and when I gave a 10 rupee [banknote] he accepted it,” said Rozi Khan, a shopkeeper in Garmsir.

Taliban authorities in Garmsir said they have begun persuading people to use the Afghani currency.

“This is a neighboring district [with Pakistan] and people had been using the Pakistani rupee for years. Now that the Emirate (Taliban) has tried to collect taxes in afghani currency, the issue will be resolved in the future,” said Musa Kalim Sani, a spokesman for Garmsir designated district governor.

Meanwhile, the usage of the Pakistani rupee instead of afghani in the bordering provinces of Afghanistan has always been considered a serious problem for the country’s economy and the stability of the country’s currency.