Monday, 27th January, 2020


Pakistan divided over what symbol to choose for its own rupee

24, Jun 2010 By Pagal Patrakar

Islamabad, Pakistan. With India all set to declare a unique identification symbol for its currency, demands for declaration of a symbol for Pakistani rupee too have started growing in Pakistan, even as opinions in the civil society appear divided over it. While the pro-symbol groups believe that such a step will help their nation catch up with the Indian economy, the anti-symbol groups believe it to be against the basic Islamic principles.

Historically India has been using INR/Rs while Pakistan has been using PKR/Rp respectively to denote their currencies, called as “rupee” in both the countries, but recently India unilaterally decided to make their currency join the elite club of Dollar, Euro, Pound, Yen, et al to reflect their apparently growing influence on the world economy. The decision has not gone down very well in Pakistan.

“This reminds me of Pokhran nuclear tests in 1998. These guys had joined the elite nuclear club all by themselves forcing us to rush in to join the same thereafter. Why do they shamelessly keep on gate-crashing and joining clubs when no one invites them?” wondered Sohail Tanveer, a Pakistani cricketer who was upset with India’s decision.

Hinduon ki zeheniyat hi aisi hai toh bas unhone kar diya jo bhi tha.” he added, accusing Indians, whom he terms as Hindus, of being deceitful and triggering a symbol race in the subcontinent.

Sohail has supported the demand for a unique symbol for Pakistani rupee but has rejected the currently most popular choice for it, which resembles the word “ruu” in Urdu and has attracted over 35,000 ‘likes’ for a page created in its support as soon as the ban on facebook was revoked in Pakistan earlier this month.

Pakistani Rupee and Chinese Yuan
The most popular currency symbol choice for Pakistani Rupee resembles a lot with Chinese Yuan

“No way, it looks so similar to the Chinese Yuan symbol. Those buggers (Indians) will again accuse of us passing Chinese stuff as our own.” Sohail argued calling for more options and a public vote on them.

Many others too support Sohail, though not necessarily agreeing with his Hindu logic. The teenagers who created the facebook page in support of the symbol say that the current currency abbreviation PKR was not SEO friendly.

“If you run a google search for PKR, all you get are results about online poker games, except for a forex rate result by google finance. What crap! INR is much better optimized for search engines.” informed Tariq, a 15-year-old internet addict, who supports a new symbol for Pakistani rupee.

But people like Sohail and Tariq could face stiff opposition from some religious groups that consider such demands haraam.

“Why do we need to have an image for the currency? The kaafirs in India even worship currencies and use pig shaped boxes to store their money. How can we follow their steps? This will encourage imagery (sic.) and idolatry.” protested Maulana Mushroom Azahar of a pro-Taliban group called Jashn-e-Jahiliyat.

With the civil as well as the uncivil society divided over the issue, the Government of Pakistan has decided not to comment over it, but sources indicate that the diplomatic talks between India and Pakistan could see discussions on this as nothing spectacular was expected from the talks anyway.