Mufti Abdul Qavi in November 2017

Did Pakistani prime ministerial candidate Imran Khan appoint a cleric, who is on trial for his alleged role in the murder of a woman, as his religious advisor? Unfounded.

Copyright AFP 2017-2021. All rights reserved.

Online reports say that Imran Khan, a former cricket star who leads the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, has appointed Mufti Abdul Qavi as an advisor for religious affairs. The PTI’s spokesman and Qavi deny the report, and there is no public record of any such appointment being announced.

A report on Roznama 92 News on July 9 said the appointment came after Khan and Qavi met in Islamabad. The report said its source for the news was Qavi, and that its reporter had spoken with him. 

A translation of the headline for the Urdu report says: “Mufti Abdul Qavi appointed Imran’s advisor for religious affairs”.

The website wrote a similar report, citing Roznama 92 News.

Qavi was arrested in October 2017 over his alleged role in the murder of social media star Qandeel Baloch the previous year. The murder trial is ongoing, and Qavi is on bail.

Qavi told AFP in a telephone call on July 13 that he had met with Khan in Islamabad and that they discussed political issues ahead of the July 25 national elections. However Qavi said he had not been appointed Khan’s religious advisor.

"Neither I asked, nor he appointed me his advisor. The news is not correct," Qavi told AFP.

PTI spokesman Fawad Chaudhry told AFP that Khan had not appointed Qavi his advisor.

"No this is not correct Mr Khan has not appointed Mufti Abdul Qavi as his political advisor," Chaudhry said.

There is no announcement of Qavi being appointed on any of the official PTI media channels, including its website and Facebook page.