Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Wednesday, August 10, 2022

HomeFact CheckNo, Viral Image Does Not Show Massive Support To Imran Khan’s Recent...

No, Viral Image Does Not Show Massive Support To Imran Khan’s Recent Azadi March In Islamabad

Scores of supporters of ousted Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan joined his call for ‘Azadi March’ on Wednesday in Islamabad, which saw clashes between protesters and security forces and heavy shelling by the army. Several social media users shared images of massive crowds that turned up in support of the cricketer-turned-politician, while others shared images of damaged vehicles and destruction that followed the march. In this context, several users shared an image showing what appears to be an arterial main road, brimming with a large crowd, carrying banners and loudspeakers. Newschecker’s analysis has found that the image is old and unrelated to the PTI’s recent call for ‘Azadi March’.

Among the users who shared the image, and claimed that it showed the recent protest in Islamabad was the handle @Malhachimi, whose tweet on May 25, 2022  gained close to 3000 retweets and over 6,500 likes. Archived version of the same can be seen here.

No, Viral Image Does Not Show Massive Support To Imran Khan’s Recent Azadi March In Islamabad
Screenshot of Tweet by @MALHACHIMI

Several other social media users also shared the same image with similar claims.

Screenshot of Tweet by @AtiqaImtiaz
Screenshot of Tweet by @VeronikaSofiaRS
Screenshot of Tweet by @HASHMIHOONMEIN

Archived links of the same can be seen here, here and here.

Imran Khan’s Azadi March And Call To Dissolve The Assembly

Imran Khan led a protest march against the Shehbaz Sharif government seeking a re-elections across the country on Wednesday and reached the D Chowk of Islamabad. The army was deployed during the early hours on Thursday to protect the Red Zone of Islamabad as the PTI chief’s march entered the city. As per recent reports, Khan has given a six-days ultimatum to the PML-N government to dissolve the assemblies and announce an election and has returned to Bani Gala, indicating an end to the march. Khan reportedly said, “My message for the imported government is to dissolve assemblies and announce elections, otherwise I will come back again to Islamabad after six days.” Khan was ousted from power early April after a no-confidence motion moved against him by the opposition.

Also Read: Viral Video Of A Brawl Breaking Out In Pakistan National Assembly Is From 2021

Fact Check/Verification

To ascertain whether the viral image shows  PTI’s recent ‘Azadi March’ in Islamabad, we conducted a Google reverse image search on the image that led us to an article published in The Express Tribune website on December 12, 2014 with the title ‘Protest against government: PTI juggernaut shuts down Karachi.’

Screengrab from Google image reverse search result

The article featured the same viral image and stated, “Thousands of people swamped the streets of Karachi on Friday in support of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan, as the party’s first attempt to shut down the city remained fairly successful with traffic off the roads and many markets closed.”

Screengrab from The Express Tribune website

As per the report, scores of the PTI and Imran Khan supporters had gathered for sit-ins at around 20 designated places in Karachi. Khan had also arrived in Karachi and visited the sit-in site at Star Gate. “His party apparently scrapped his earlier plan to visit all major sit-ins venues in the city. Instead, Imran left for a party leader’s house,” the report said.

(L-R) Image featured in The Express Tribune report and viral image

Continuing our investigation, we again conducted a Google image search on the viral image with keywords ‘PTI Protest in Karachi’ and set the time frame of the search from December 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014. The search result led us to multiple images from the said protest along with one uploaded on Alamy. The caption of the image read, “Karachi. 12th Dec, 2014. Supporters of Pakistani politician Imran Khan gather during an anti-government protest in the southern Pakistani port city of Karachi on Dec. 12, 2014. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) or Justice Movement holds a massive protest rally against government in Karachi on Friday, local media reported. (sic)”

We found several similarities between the Alamy image and the viral image, leading us to conclude that the two photographs were taken from the same event, but from different angles. 

Imran Khan’s PTI had given a call for countrywide protests against the then  Nawaz Sharif government in Pakistan for allegedly rigging 2013 elections. On December 12, 2014 sit-in protests were organised in Karachi along with a call for strike. Reportedly, markets, shops and petrol pumps remained shut in many parts of the city since early morning with sparse public and private transport on the roads.

The protests were reported by several news outlets in 2014. You can read the reports here, here and here

Conclusion

Image showing an aerial view of a massive crowd brimming over an arterial road is neither related to Imran Khan’s recent Azadi March nor is it from Islamabad. The image was taken on December 12, 2014 in Karachi during a sit-in protest organised by PTI against the then Nawaz Sharif government.

Result: False Context/False

Sources

Report Published In The Express Tribune On December 12, 2014

Alamy


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Vasudha Beri
Vasudha Beri
Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.
Vasudha Beri
Vasudha Beri
Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

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