Pakistani rupee falls to all-time low amid political crisis

The rupee hit 188.14 to the US dollar as the country’s top court prepared to deliver a verdict.

The Pakistani rupee has fallen to an all-time low as the country’s top court prepared to deliver a verdict on the case of the National Assembly deputy speaker’s obstruction of an opposition bid to remove Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Khan lost his parliamentary majority last week and was on the verge of being forced from office by a no-confidence vote tabled by the opposition on Sunday.

The deputy speaker of parliament, a member of Khan’s party, threw out the motion for the vote, ruling it was part of a foreign conspiracy and unconstitutional. The country’s president then dissolved parliament on Khan’s recommendation and called for general elections.

The former cricketer’s critics say the manoeuvre was unconstitutional and has led to political turmoil in the nuclear armed country.

Data from the State Bank of Pakistan showed the rupee hitting 188.14 to the dollar.

The depreciation in the open, or unofficial, markets was even higher, currency dealers said.

Political crisis

The political standoff has thrown the country of 220 million people, ruled by the military for extended periods since independence in 1947, into a full-blown constitutional crisis.

The crisis is a worry for economic policymakers in Pakistan, which is in the middle of an International Monetary Fund bailout.

It also threatens relationships with its longtime ally the United States, which Khan says is behind the conspiracy to overthrow him. Washington denies this.

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