Old photo misleadingly linked to Pakistan PM's no-confidence vote

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After Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was left scrambling to fight a no-confidence vote, a photo was shared hundreds of times on Facebook and Twitter alongside a claim it shows Khan meeting with the head of an Islamist party to shore up support. But the photo has been shared in a misleading context: it shows Khan's meeting with the leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan party in 2016.

The photo was posted on Facebook on March 22, 2022. It has been shared more than 110 times.

It shows Khan with defence minister Pervez Khattak to his right and chief of the Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan party Siraj ul Haq to his left. 

The post's Urdu-language caption translates as: "Tehreek-e-Insaf party chairman Imran Khan and former Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khan Khattak meet with Siraj ul Haq, chief of Jamaat-e-Islami party, in Islamabad."

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf is the country's ruling party and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is its traditional stronghold province.

Screenshot of the misleading post. Taken on March 28, 2022.

The post circulated online the same day Khan trumpeted his Islamic credentials at a meeting of foreign ministers from Muslim nations, even as he battled the most serious domestic challenge to his rule since coming to power.

Khan hosted the conference whilst scrambling to fight a no-confidence vote in parliament, with the opposition accusing him of mismanaging the economy and foreign policy.

AFP reported on the developments here.

Haq has criticised both the government and opposition alliance in recent weeks, vowing to remain neutral in the no-confidence vote, Pakistan's Bol News reported.

Comments to the post reference the looming no-confidence vote against Khan, suggesting social media users thought the photo was recent.

"The one who says he'll never be blackmailed, today Imran Khan is grabbing the leg of Siraj ul Haq for his one vote," one wrote.

The identical photo was shared in similar posts on Facebook here, here, here and here; and on Twitter here and here.

However, there have been no official statements or reports about a meeting between Khan and Haq.

A Google reverse search also found the photo was shared in a misleading context.

It was previously published here on Khan's verified Facebook page on July 25, 2016.

The photo's caption reads, "Siraj ul Haq, JI Chief, called on Chairman Imran Khan and CM KP Pervez Khattak at KP House today."

Below is a screenshot comparison of the photo in the misleading post (left) and the 2016 photo (right):

Screenshot comparison of the photo in the misleading posts (left) and on Imran Khan's Facebook page (right).


The photo also corresponds to images of the meeting published here on Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan's Facebook page on July 25, 2016.

At the time, Haq convened a meeting with several party leaders including Khan to discuss Kashmir which is contested between India and Pakistan, according to a report here by the Urdu newspaper Daily Jasarat on July 22, 2016.