Viral video falsely claims that the COAS brought the dollar down by PKR 150
Contrary to the claim, a 25-hour operation against dollar smugglers has not been reported anywhere
Claim: COAS Asim Munir has overpowered the dollar, dealt with inflation, and conducted a Mission Clean Sweep, in which he cracked down on dollar smugglers. His efforts have resulted in the value of the US dollar falling by Rs 150 against the rupee.
Fact: On 10 September 2023, NPG Politics posted a video on Facebook with a thumbnail image claiming that the Chief of Army Staff Asim Munir had raided the homes of members of the dollar mafia in the last 25 hours, which resulted in a fall of PKR 150 in the rupee to dollar exchange rate. The post was also accompanied by the following caption:
عاصم منیر کے مافیا کے گھروں پر چھاپے 25 گھنٹے میں تاریخی آپریشن
[Translation: Asim Munir raided mafia homes, a historic operation was undertaken in the last 25 hours]
Fact or Fiction?
We checked the official exchange rate update on the website of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and found two updates on 8 September and 11 September, which are near 10 September 2023, the date this video was published. These rates are known as Mark to Market (M2M) rates, which compiles the weighted averages of closing interbank exchange rates collected through brokerage houses and finds the average value.
Soch Fact Check also conducted a comprehensive keyword search for the terms “Asim Munir” “25 hours”, “operation”, “mission clean sweep”, “dollar”, “smugglers”, “exchange rate”, and “150” in different variations but did not find any news coverage asserting the claim.
The video claims that COAS Asim Munir held meetings with leading businessmen, after which the dollar fell by PKR 150. Reports regarding such a meeting have been published by all mainstream news organisations. Several businessmen have also publicly discussed this meeting, which was held on Saturday, 2 September 2023. However, looking at the other exchange rate figures provided in the SBP, this claim does not seem to hold true. Before the meeting was held, the last updated exchange rate on 1 September 2023 was PKR 305.4669. The next day, after this meeting was held, the dollar climbed and by 4 September 2023, the exchange rate was PKR 305.6247. On 5 September 2023 it rose again reaching PKR 307.0996. It then fell on 6 September 2023, reaching PKR 306.9795, and fell again by another 2 rs on 7 September 2023, reaching PKR 304.9440.
After Asim Munir’s meeting on Saturday, the dollar fell by PKR 4.3944 until 11 September 2023. According to the open market rates, on 11 September 2023, the US Dollar was worth PKR 297.9, and on 1 September 2023, it was PKR 332.5. According to this chart, which we generated through Forex.pk, it is clear that there was, at most, a PKR 34.6 fall in the price of dollars and not more.
We also reached out to Saleem Amjad, CEO of Link Exchange, who provided us with the following data:
Interbank closing 305.47 (01 September 23)
Interbank closing 305.64 (04 September 23)
Interbank closing 307.10 (05 September 23)
Interbank closing 306.98 (06 September 23)
Interbank closing 304.94 (07 September 23)
Interbank closing 302.95 (08 September 23)
Interbank closing 301.16 (11 September 23)
According to this data, after the meeting on 2 September, the price of the dollar fell by PKR 4.31, not PKR 150, until 11 September, a day after the video in the claim was published.
Soch Fact Check also conducted a comprehensive keyword search for the terms “Asim Munir”, “25 hours”, “operation”, “mission clean sweep”, “dollar”, “smugglers”, “exchange rate”, and “150” in different variations but and did not find any news coverage asserting the same claim.
This conclusively proves that the claim regarding a fall of PKR 150 is false.
Conclusion: Asim Munir’s meeting with businessmen and crackdown on dollar smugglers did not result in a PKR 150 fall in the price of the US Dollar.
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