Not just Imran Khan, 5 times Pakistan happily spread fake news
Photo: AP/PTI

On Friday Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted a seven-year-old video of violence from Bangladesh and claimed it to be the case of police brutality against Muslims in Uttar Pradesh.

"Indian police's pogrom against Muslims in UP," Khan had tweeted.

The seven-year-old video showed police action against a group of people in Bangladesh. At one point in the video, a policeman could be seen holding a shield of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), an anti-terrorism unit of the Bangladesh Police, definitively proving that it was from the neighbouring country.

The misleading tweet incidentally comes at a time when the reports of a group of people vandalising Nankana Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan's Punjab province began surfacing.

But the "pogrom against Muslims" idea seems to have remained in his mind, as later on Saturday he tweeted a news article with the caption, "Indian police brutality reaches new lows as its pogrom of Muslims in India continues as part of fascist Modi Govt's ethnic cleansing agenda".

This time, he attached a news article that spoke about how people placed on the Uttar Pradesh police's list of those who could hamper peace amid the ongoing CAA protests included a man who had been dead for six years and another who was 93-year-old and bedridden.

Khan's now deleted tweet has once again put the spotlight on the propagation of fake news. And keeping that in mind, we decided to put together a list. To be more precise, a list of other times when Pakistan has propagated fake news.

1. A case of mistaken identity

In 2017, Imran Khan, then the leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, tweeted to say that "Shashikala, a famous South Indian actress turned politician in India's Tamil Nadu died recently and below her house were discovered gold reserves, jewels and illegal stash of money"

First of all, Shashikala the actress and Sasikala the politician are two different people.

Secondly, neither are dead.

And thirdly, the photos he attached of the so called 'gold reserves' are not from any reserve under her residence at least.

Need we go on?

Khan, the only person on our list who deletes his gaffes, soon did so.

2. Yet another case of mistaken identity

It may be difficult to distinguish between two individuals with similar names. While we don't quite understand the earlier mentioned blunder, one can at least feel some understanding for it. But how exactly does someone mistake their boss and close associate for Sachin Tendulkar?

And yet, Naeem ul Haque, Khan's Special Assistant and PTI co-founder, did exactly that. He posted an old picture of Tendulkar, claiming it was "PM Imran Khan 1969".

3. The video from Kashmir that wasn't

Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs, Ali Haider Zaidi earlier in 2019 had tweeted a video supposedly from Kashmir, calling Prime Minister Modi the 'Hitler from the East'.

Unfortunately for him, the video turned out to be old footage from Haryana.

And in case of this video, you can still take a look at it below, since it remains immortalised on his Twitter feed.

4. The girl who was proof of "Indian brutality" in Kashmir - except she was in Palestine

Imagine making a point in the United Nation backed by incorrect facts. Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan's permanent representative to the UN, made a rather embarrassing blunder when she used a photo of a scarred girl as proof of "Indian brutality" in Kashmir.

Unfortunately, the girl in the photo was a 17-year-old Palestinian girl who had been injured by shrapnel during an Israeli attack. The photo had been taken in 2014 by a famed photographer.

5. The time when a High Court sanctioned felling of trees in India became an attack on Muslim Kashmiris

Another day, another fake news video.

Albeit a lot less violent in some ways, this one if also one of the more bizarre on this list.

The felling of apple trees in Himachal Pradesh in 2018 should not really be a cause for criticism from Pakistan over a year later. Especially if the trees in question were being felled following a Himachal Pradesh High Court that had asked a Special Investigation Team to cut the trees as they had been planted on forest land.

Or so one would have thought.

Not so much for Pakistan's Minister for Human Rights, Shireen Mazari, who in September 2019 criticised it as being a result of the government's 'fascist hate-filled mindset'.

"Indian occupation forces can't even bare to see fruit trees live in IOJK - lest the Muslim Kashmiris eat the fruit. Such is the barbarism of the Rogue Modi Govt's fascist hate-filled mindset," she wrote.

In conclusion, we'd like to leave you with another tweet from Imran Khan.

We agree.

Now if only those spreading fake news would listen to him!

Or even indulge in a bit of fact checking before their 'Twitter-happy' instincts take over.

(With inputs from agencies)

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