This image shows Bilawal Bhutto Zardari meeting women’s march organisers in 2019, not in 2021

Copyright AFP 2017-2021. All rights reserved.

An image has been shared multiple times on Facebook and Twitter alongside a claim it shows Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari meeting the organisers of Pakistan’s annual women’s march in March 2021. The claim is false: the photo was taken in 2019.

The image was posted here on Facebook on March 18, 2021.

The post's Urdu-language caption translates to English as: “Today’s meeting with the organisers of the women's march in Bilawal House [Bhutto family residence]. Assured Bilawal that we’ll raise our voice for his sexual rights”.

Screenshot of the misleading post on Facebook. Taken on March 25, 2021.

Women’s marches, known as Aurat Marches in Pakistan, have been held annually in Pakistan since 2018 to mark International Women’s Day on March 8 and include activists campaigning for women’s rights in the socially conservative country. This year’s event was targeted by a “vicious smear campaign” of online misinformation, AFP reported here.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is the chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP),  an opposition political party.

The image was also shared on Facebook here, here, here, here and here; and on Twitter here, here, here and here alongside similar claims.

The claim, however, is false. The photo is actually taken in March 2019, not in 2021.

A reverse image search found that Bhutto Zardari published the same photo on Twitter here on March 16, 2019. 

Part of the tweet reads: “Pleasure meeting some organizers of #AuratMarch. Women reclaiming social, political & public spaces important for progress”.

The photo was also included in a March 2019 report by Pakistani online media MangoBaaz here.

Below is a comparison of the image in the misleading posts (L) and the original tweet (R):

Comparison of the photo in the misleading posts (L) and the original (R). Taken on March 25, 2021.

The Aurat March organisers did meet with Bhutto-Zardari on 19 March, 2021, and posted a photo here which doesn’t match the photo from the misleading posts.

UPDATE 28/03/21: Tweaked header image