KARACHI: The US dollar continued its flight against the Pakistani rupee. It surged past the Rs174 mark during intra-day trading on Friday. According to forex dealers, the dollar (greenback) opened at Rs173.96 in the interbank market and appreciated 34 paisas in early trade, touching the highest ever mark at Rs174.30. On Friday, the US dollar closed at 173.96 against the rupee, registering appreciation of Rs0.49 or 0.28 percent over Thursday’s close of Rs173.47, according to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). The rupee’s slide against the US dollar continues despite a number of measures introduced by the State Bank to ease the pressure on the exchange rate. Earlier, SBP Governor Reza Baqir created quite a stir on social media after he defended the rupee depreciation saying it benefited overseas Pakistanis and claimed that inflation in the country was artificial and would be controlled. He said the rising exchange rate has led to a price hike.