Media of Imran Khan, Nawaz Sharif with misleading claims falsely linked to Pakistan National Elections 2024

Debunking fake news around Pakistan National Assembly Elections 2024
(Social media screenshot)
(Social media screenshot)

The National Assembly Elections were held in Pakistan on February 8, 2024. The elections were held for 266 seats (total 336 seats) out of which 133 seats were required for a simple majority.

There were reports of fraudulent activities during elections to influence results, which led to arrests of activists and allegations of irregularities. Imran Khan, a former Prime Minister, was sentenced to 14 years in jail for corruption and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party has been barred from the polls.

Amid the reports of rigged elections, the European Union, the United States and Britain demanded a probe into irregularities.

Pakistan's social media is rife with fake news associated with its 2024 National Assembly Elections. Here is some fake news that SouthCheck has debunked regarding elections in Pakistan.

Claim 1

An image of Imran Khan has gone viral on social media, in which he is seen casting his vote. The image is being shared with the claim that it shows Imran Khan voting from Adiala Jail.

“Imran Khan has cast his vote in Adiala jail,” said the caption.

Fact Check

We found that the claim is fake. On doing a Google Reverse Image Search, we found the same image uploaded by Arab News on October 14, 2018. The photo caption stated that the image shows Imran Khan casting his vote in the NA-53 constituency during the by-assembly elections in 2018.

The same image was uploaded by the official Facebook page of Imran Khan on October 14, 2018, with a caption, “Prime Minister Imran Khan cast his vote in NA-53 constituency earlier today.”

Hence, we can ascertain that the viral image is old and is not associated with the recently concluded National Assembly elections in Pakistan.

Claim 2

video of former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif has gone viral where he can be heard asking people to boycott elections in Pakistan in the 16-second-long video.

The video is shared with a caption that reads, “PML-N SUPREMO NAWAZ SHARIF HAS CALLED FOR THE BOYCOTT OF 2024 GENERAL ELECTIONS. (sic)”

Fact Check

On searching with appropriate keywords, we found the same video uploaded on the YouTube channel, AP Archive, on July 21, 2015. The video’s description stated that the video was from November 29, 2007, when the opposition leaders announced their boycott of the elections.

According to a report published by Reuters on December 3, 2007, Pakistan’s Election Commission barred Nawaz Sharif from participating in the January 8 general election because of his criminal record, after which he threatened to boycott the elections.

Hence, we conclude that an old video of Nawaz Sharif is being linked to Pakistan’s elections in 2024.

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