Student’s banknote design mistaken for “new currency” in Pakistan


Copyright AFP 2017-2021. All rights reserved.

A video report viewed over a million times on Facebook claims to show a new plastic banknote that will be circulating in Pakistan in early 2022. The claim is false; Pakistan’s central bank said it had not ordered the alleged banknote, adding that it was “still studying the viability” of using plastic banknotes in the future. Separately, a student at a Pakistani university told AFP he designed the banknotes shown in the video for a project.

“New Pakistan banknote” read the caption next to the video.

The clip, viewed over 1.5 million times, was shared in a Facebook post November 9, 2021.

The narrator of the video says in Urdu: “New year and new currency. Pakistanis will have to use plastic banknotes from the new year.”

“The color and design of the 50 rupee note has been completely changed. The red 100 rupee banknote will now be green and will have the photo of Islamia College Peshawar on both sides. It will be plastic. The 1,000 rupee banknotes will also be made of plastic, ”he continues.

“The new plastic notes were designed by a fine arts student at Peshawar University, Noor ul Hassan.”

A screenshot of the misleading Facebook post taken on November 18, 2021

Similar videos showing the alleged banknotes posted on Facebook here, here and here.

However, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said it did not order the banknotes shown in the reports.

“The design of the polymer (plastic) banknotes circulating on social media is the work of a student at Peshawar University, which was not commissioned by the State Bank,” said one. AFP spokesperson.

“SBP is currently studying the viability of polymer banknotes taking into account the general public’s use of the banknotes and its overall cost. Any decision to consider polymer banknotes will be made based on the results of the study. feasibility.”

The SBP also rejected the misleading reports in a Facebook post November 9.

Student project

On November 9, the University of Peshawar posted a video on Facebook which features the same design shown in the misleading reports.

“The design of new banknotes is the subject of Noor ul Hassan’s thesis for obtaining his master’s degree,” explains the narrator in Pashto.

“His thesis supervisor, Assistant Professor Younas Masood, says he chose a difficult topic for his thesis but worked hard to complete it.”

Below is a screenshot comparison of the banknote featured in the misleading Facebook posts (L) and the University of Peshawar video (R):

A comparison of screenshots from the misleading Facebook post (L) and the interview with the student who conceived the currency as an art project (R)

Hassan told AFP he designed the banknotes for his master’s thesis, which he said had “no connection” with the SBP.

“It was for my thesis. Each student chooses a topic and must say how useful it can be. curb the threat of counterfeit currency, ”he said.

“The State Bank has no connection with my thesis.”

Hassan’s thesis supervisor Younas Masood also told AFP that the banknotes were designed as part of his masters course.


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