Pakistan CBDC Tracker

CBDC Information

Economic Information

Monetary Base


Cash Issued




Country Information

Freedom Rankings

Cato and Fraser Human Freedom Index:


Freedom House Index:


Reporters Without Borders Freedom Index:


Pakistan is currently in the research phase. According to reporting in ProPakistani, State Bank of Pakistan Governor Jameel Ahmad shared that the central bank was working on a CBDC. However, it seems the State Bank of Pakistan is waiting to learn from the experience of other countries before pushing forward.

CBDC History and Development

In 2022, State Bank of Pakistan governor Reza Baqir said in a speech that the central bank had been “studying CBDCs both from technological and functional perspectives.” He further stated that “CBDCs hold considerable promise” in terms of promoting stability, inclusion, and innovation. However, the governor also noted that experiments abroad suggest “wholesale CBDC may not have substantial benefits over conventional [systems.]” So it seems the focus in Pakistan will be on retail CBDC to promote “the evolution from cash to digital.”

In 2023, State Bank of Pakistan governor Jameel Ahmad reportedly told “the Senate’s Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue that the central bank is working to launch its own digital currency, known as the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).”

Human Rights and Civil Liberties Concerns

Pakistan earned a 37 out of 100 in Freedom House’s 2023 Freedom in the World report. There are many concerns in Pakistan. However, the most pressing concerns regarding the issuance and use of a CBDC are widespread surveillance and corruption. A CBDC could worsen both issues.

“Several domestic intelligence services monitored politicians, political activists, suspected terrorists, NGOs, employees of foreign entities, and media professionals,” according to the U.S. Department of State. “There were reports that authorities routinely used wiretaps, monitored cell phone calls, intercepted electronic correspondence, and opened mail without court approval.” Unfortunately, a CBDC could be used to greatly expand surveillance by putting financial records on government databases by default.

“Despite numerous formal safeguards, official corruption is endemic in practice,” according to Freedom House. “The use of accountability mechanisms is often selective and politically driven.” The existence of pervasive corruption is a major concern with CBDCs because it calls into question any promises that might be made by the government to limit surveillance, control, or other risks of CBDCs. Furthermore, the existence of corruption calls into question whether CBDC policies might be designed to exert political favoritism through subsidies, price controls, or other targeted restrictions.

For additional information on concerns regarding violations of human rights and civil liberties, see the following reports by Amnesty International, Financial Tyranny Index, Freedom House, Human Rights Watch, Privacy International, and the U.S. Department of State. For additional information on concerns regarding the risks of CBDCs, see the following webpage and report by the Cato Institute: The Risks of CBDCs and Central Bank Digital Currency: Assessing the Risks and Dispelling the Myths.

For additional information regarding metrics, the methodology page explains each of the data points and provides their respective sources.