Aide to Pakistan's ex-PM Khan shares wrong photo in tweet about arrest attempt
A photo of crowds packed onto a street has surfaced in social media posts that falsely claim it shows the chaotic scene outside the home of Pakistan's ex-prime minister Imran Khan, where supporters fought off police trying to arrest him. The photo was actually taken at Lahore High Court weeks before the clashes, when Khan supporters gathered as the ex-leader appeared seeking protective bail.
The photo was shared by Fawad Chaudhry, who was information minister under Khan, to his 6.2 million Twitter followers.
"Zaman Park..." the tweet says, referring to the neighbourhood in Lahore where the former international cricket star lives.
The tweet was posted on March 14, as violent clashes erupted between Khan's supporters and police as he remained holed up at home, defying attempts to arrest him.
Khan was ousted from office by a no-confidence vote in April 2022, and has been snarled in a series of legal cases as he campaigns for early elections and a return to office.
Police insist they have a warrant to arrest Khan following his failure to appear before an Islamabad court on graft charges, but the former premier and his lawyers say he has been granted bail on the charge.
The photo was shared in similar posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
A reverse image search on Google found the photo in social media posts about crowds gathered outside Lahore High Court on February 20, when Khan was due to appear there.
The court granted Khan protective bail in a case related to alleged vandalism by his supporters during protests in October 2022.
The commission had disqualified Khan after ruling he had misled officials about gifts he received from foreign leaders while in power, AFP reported.
One tweet sharing the photo said: "Thousands of supporter's (sic) gather outside Lahore High Court without party call to express solidarity with their leader Imran Khan. I salute the bravery and courage of those people who are supporting him".
Below is a screenshot comparison of the photo in false posts (left) and in a tweet about Khan's court appearance (right):
The photo was shared in various other posts about the court appearance, including on Twitter and Facebook.
The European Pressphoto Agency published a similar photo of crowds gathered outside the court, taken from a different angle.
Below is a screenshot comparison of the photo in false posts (left) and the European Pressphoto Agency's photo (right).
Khan supporters previously shared a photo from a protest in Washington DC in 2018 in posts falsely claiming it showed crowds outside the ex-leader's house.