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Although India and Pakistan are widely known as belligerent rivals in South Asia, the bilateral ties were no so bad immediately after the Partition of the Indian Subcontinent in August 1947. The assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation of India, on January 30, 1948 reportedly shocked the People of Pakistan, too. Perhaps, relations between the six former Yugoslavian States – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia (including the regions of Kosovo and Vojvodina) and Slovenia – have not been so cordial since June 25, 1991 when Slovenia and Croatia declared their Independence! The same is applicable for Sudan and South Sudan. In that sense, the Indo-Pak ties were an exception in the 1950s…

After the birth of Pakistan on August 14, 1947, the country was heavily dependent on India on various issues, as it was not possible for a neo-natal State to set up the Administration… and, India gave time to its neighbour for functioning in a proper manner.

When the British left the Indian Subcontinent, Pakistan did not have its own Central Bank. Hence, it had to let India’s Apex Banking Body take over. Pakistan urged India to supply currency notes to the former. And for more than eight months post-Independence, Pakistan functioned on Indian currency (from August 1947 till September 1948). At that period of time, South Asia had one bank (the Reserve Bank of India or RBI) for two nations!

British India

In 1948, the Government of Pakistan issued a statement, saying: “Pakistan found it difficult to devise a new currency system overnight after partition and decided to take help from RBI, which explains the RBI and Pakistani Money symbols coexisting on the same note.

On April 1, 1948, the RBI supplied the first batch of notes designed specifically for Pakistan. Though the nation was now Independent, the notes bore the image of King George. They also had the name of the RBI, and the words Government of Pakistan in English and Hukumat-e-Pakistan in Urdu at the top and bottom, respectively. However, the signatures on these notes were those of Indian banking and finance officials. They were eventually demonetised in 1952, three years after the establishment of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the Central Bank of the country, on July 1, 1948.

Thereafter, the ties between India and Pakistan deteriorated mainly over the Kashmir issue. Now, the two Nuclear Powers in South Asia are engaging in a sort of Cold War, destabilising the region. Pakistan, reportedly, has also been officially printing fake Indian currency notes since 2000. In 2014, a forensic analysis by India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) revealed that the paper used to print counterfeit Indian Rupees matched with the legal tender of Pakistan. The NIA also claimed that fake Indian banknotes of mostly 500 and 1,000 denominations were printed in Pakistan and circulated in India by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the premier intelligence agency of Pakistan, operationally responsible for gathering, processing, and analysing information relevant for national security from around the world – through underworld and terror operatives.

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