This is an old image showing Pakistan's national elections in 2018, not the recent poll in Kashmir

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Facebook and Twitter posts in Pakistan purport to show a photo of supporters of an opposition party travelling in a police vehicle during recent provincial elections in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. The claim is misleading: the image is from 2018 and shows party supporters in the capital Islamabad during national elections that year.

The image was posted here on Facebook on July 25, 2021. 

“It’s Raja Farooq’s government and the police are fully supporting the N-League. The Election Commission in the Kashmir elections is sleeping with its eyes closed,” reads the post’s Urdu-language caption.

Raja Farooq Haider Khan is a member of the opposition Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) party and the Prime Minister of Pakistan-administered Kashmir, known locally as Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) province. 

The image shows people travelling in a police van while waving a PML-N flag.

Screenshot of the image with the misleading caption. Taken on July 27, 2021. ( AFP / )


The province -- which follows a separate electoral process from the rest of Pakistan -- held its polls on July 25, which were won by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party.

Several users appeared to believe the photo was from the recent AJK elections. 

One wrote in Urdu: “The League supporters will achieve nothing, we’ve visited all of Kashmir. Allah willing, PTI will win” while another wrote in an Urdu transliteration: “In Pakistan, the police supports PTI against the TLP. They supported the N-League here, so what?”

The photo was shared with similar claims on Facebook here and here; and on Twitter here, here and here.

However, the posts are misleading. The image shows PML-N supporters in the nation’s capital Islamabad during the national elections in 2018.

A reverse image search found the same photo posted here in a report by local media outlet Dawn News in 2018. 

The first paragraph of the report reads: “ISLAMABAD: Taking advantage of police leniency, workers from the PML-N used official police vans to escort former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi during a campaign rally on Thursday.”

Below is a screenshot comparing the image in the misleading posts (L) with the one from Dawn News (R). The word ‘Islamabad’ can also be seen on the license plates in both images and has been circled in red by AFP:

Screenshot comparing the photo in the misleading post (L) with the one from Dawn News (R). Taken on July 27, 2021. ( AFP / )