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Pakistanis are being forced to make uncomfortable choices, including leaving the country.   © Illustration by Hiroko Oshima
Asia Insight

Pakistan's punishing inflation changes life as 225m people know it

Poor skimp on food while those better off carpool, buy solar, aim to emigrate

MIFRAH HAQ, Contributing writer | Pakistan

KARACHI -- Javed Iqbal used to earn around 15,000 Pakistani rupees ($66) a month offloading ships on the docks of Karachi. Last month, he brought home 1,500 rupees, as only one vessel arrived due to a government ban on importing luxuries to save dwindling dollar reserves.

That amount would never go very far. It feels especially meager when Pakistan is grappling with skyrocketing inflation. A single liter of cooking oil alone now sells for about half what Iqbal earned in June. "Today, we ate boiled potatoes because cooking oil is too expensive," said his sister, Bano Begum.

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