Pakistani provincial government has not 'renamed cardiology institute after Punjab's chief minister'

The information minister for Punjab, Pakistan's most populous province, has said none of its hospitals are set to be renamed, contradicting social media posts that falsely claimed a cardiology institute had been named after Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif. The posts shared a fabricated notice from a Punjab government department.

"Cardiology Institute Alligned (sic) With Allama Iqbal Medical College/ Jinnah Hospital has been Named as 'Maryam Nawaz Institute of CVD'," read part of an X post shared on May 30, 2024.

Maryam Nawaz Sharif was the first woman to govern a province when she became the chief minister of Punjab in February 2024. Her father -- widely known as the "Lion of Punjab" -- was prime minister three times, his last stint ending in 2017.

The X post, shared more than 300 times, added: "Madam Thief Minister is Going To Name Every new Project on Her Name now! Shameful!"

Attached to the post was a fabricated notification from the Punjab government's Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education Department dated May 29, 2024.

It falsely claimed the Institute of Cardiology at Jinnah Hospital had been named the "Maryam Nawaz Sharif Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (MNICVD), Lahore".

Screenshot of the false X post, captured on June 4, 2024

The same image was shared with a similar false claim elsewhere on X here, here and here; and on Facebook here and here.

It was mostly shared by the supporters of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the party of jailed former prime minister Imran Khan.

Sharif's uncle Shehbaz replaced Khan as prime minister in 2022, when a parliamentary no-confidence vote saw him replaced by the opposition.

In March 2024, he was voted in as the country's prime minister, presiding over an alliance that shut out Khan's followers.

In response to the false posts, Punjab Information Minister Azma Zahid Bokhari wrote on X on May 30 that they had shared a "fake" notice (archived link).

"This fake notification is circulating about the Punjab government, which is strongly denied, the name of any hospital is not being changed," read her Urdu-language post.

A search on the Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education Department website, where notifications are posted, found no evidence that Jinnah Hospital's cardiology institute had been renamed (archived link).

The fabricated notification was dated May 29, 2024 but the department did not post any updates that day.

A search on the Punjab government's website also found no record of the false notification circulating online (archived link).

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