This photo of a Pakistani politician has been doctored to include a bottle of whisky

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A photo of a Pakistani religious political party chief has been shared hundreds of times in multiple posts on Facebook and Twitter alongside a claim it shows him on board a plane with a bottle of whisky on his table. The claim is false; as the photo has been digitally manipulated to include the whisky bottle.

The photo was published in this Facebook post on September 25, 2020.

It has been shared more than 540 times. 

A screenshot taken on October 6, 2020 of the misleading Facebook post

It purports to show Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who leads the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) party in Pakistan, sitting on board a plane with a bottle of whisky on the table next to him.

The post’s Urdu-language caption translates to English as: “The fans of diesel … who consider him an Islamic scholar…… I think it is Rooh Afza … what does it look like to you?"

Diesel is a reference to Rehman for his alleged participation in graft involving fuel licenses. Here is an AFP report about the opposition leader.

The post appears to make a tongue-in-cheek reference to Rooh Afza, a herbal drink.

The caption appears to be intended as a jibe at the supporters of Rehman, who consider him to be a revered and pious Islamic figure. Consuming alcohol is forbidden in Islam.

Many Facebook users commented on the post to claim the photo was “fake”, but some Facebook users criticised Rehman for purportedly sitting next to a bottle of whisky, which is haram in Islam.

Below are screenshots of comments in Urdu which translates as: “Curse (on him)” and “Maulana is drinking petrol.”

Screenshots of comments in Urdu which translates as: “Curse (on him)” and “Maulana is drinking petrol.”

The same photo was shared here, here and here on Facebook and here, here and here on Twitter alongside a similar claim.

The claim is false: the photo has been edited to include the whisky bottle and glass.

The original image was shared on Facebook in August 2019 here.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the photo in the misleading Facebook post (L) and original photo (R ) with annotations added by AFP:

A screenshot comparison of the photo in the misleading Facebook post (L) and original photo (R ) with annotations added by AFP

The cabin layout, seats and colour scheme of the plane correspond with the interior of an aircraft belonging to Saudi Arabian airline Saudia.

Interior photos of a Saudia Boeing 777 published by Germany’s frequent flyer and travel website frankfurtflyer.de here show that the plane’s side tables have a cream-coloured frame and a brown table top.

A screenshot of plane's interior published by Germany’s frequent flyer and travel website frankfurtflyer.de

The airline does not serve alcoholic drinks on board according to this notice posted on its website.