KANDAHAR: A senior Afghan police official, regarded as one of the country’s most powerful men, has banned the use of Pakistani Rupees (PKR) in the southern province of Kandahar. Kandahar police chief Gen Abdul Raziq said he has declared the use of PKR in business transactions a crime. But he says he hasn’t yet decided on the punishment.“I am not against business, but I don’t want any other currency to be used in our country, especially the Pakistan and Iranian currencies,” Raziq said. The ban came into effect last week. Traders said it had an immediate effect, with the strengthening Afghani in recent days. “This is very good news, as people have been confused about what currency they should use and keep,” said Kandahar elder and businessman, Ahmad Shah Khan. He said the Afghani had strengthened to 560 for 1,000 Pakistani rupees, from 630 per 1,000 before the ban. The official central bank exchange rate Sunday was 622 per 1,000.Azrakhsh Hafizi, the head of the international relations committee of the Afghan Chamber of Commerce welcomed Raziq’s decision and urged officials nationwide to adopt the ban of foreign currencies. The use of the US dollar in transactions everywhere in the country should also be banned, Hafizi said. “The central bank almost every week buys Afghanis in the market in order to maintain the stability of the Afghan currency but if we used only the Afghan currency all over the country there would be no need,” he said.