Afghan singer Hasiba Noori was not killed in Peshawar
False news of her death went viral on Indian Twitter and Indian media outlets
Claim: Afghan singer Hasiba Noori was shot dead by unknown assailants in Peshawar in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Fact: There is no truth to the claim. Hasiba Noori has released a video statement saying that she is alive. Police in Peshawar and Quetta have also denied receiving information about any such targeted killing.
On 17 July 2023, TV9 Network Executive Editor and journalist Aditya Raj Kaul posted (archive) on Twitter two pictures — one of Afghan singer Hasiba Noori and another reportedly of a deceased woman in a blue-and-red gradient-based filter.
Kaul captioned the tweet as follows:
“Terrible news. Afghan singer Hasiba Noori was killed yesterday by “unknown gunmen” in Kuza of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan. She had fled the Taliban from Afghanistan in 2021 and sought refuge in Pakistan. Unknown Gunmen in Pakistan usually means Pakistan ISI or its affiliates.”
The claim went significantly viral on multiple social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook.
Some people, however, disputed the claim that she was shot in Peshawar, saying she had died in Quetta due to an overdose, which can be found here, here, and here. Twitter user @khybereena pointed out this confusion in their tweet (archive).
Fact or Fiction?
Soch Fact Check spoke to the control room of the Peshawar Police, which denied receiving any information regarding the alleged targeted killing of any Afghan singer.
We then reached out to the control room of the Quetta Police, which also denied having received any such information.
“No such incident has taken place here,” Peshawar Police said. There is “no [such] news in our knowledge”, they added.
An officer in the Peshawar Police control room informed Soch Fact Check that they “have no information” in this regard, nor have they “received any such report”.
Quetta Police also said that they had “nothing of such sort in [their] notice.”
We also spoke to Qamar Yousufzai, the president of the Pak-Afghan International Forum of Journalists (PAIFJ), who said Noori was injured in a traffic accident about three or four days ago and that the viral picture was taken at a time when she was being treated at a hospital.
Afghan journalists told him that the reports of her death are fake, he said.
Yousafzai confirmed that no first information report (FIR) in this regard was registered in Peshawar and that only Amu TV was the outlet from Afghanistan that published a report on the alleged shooting first.
“I tried getting in touch with Amu TV,” he said, adding that the outlet has in the past put out reports without authentic information.
The PAIFJ president also shared with us a video statement of Hasiba Noori. He summarised her statement, saying she confirmed that she “is alive and well”, that the reports about her death are false, and that she “condemns” such claims. Noori also urged people to verify news before sharing it forward, according to him.
The following is a translation from Dari to English of what she says in her video statement:
“Assalam o Alaikum [peace be unto you], friends, I hope you’re doing well. I’m Hasiba Noori. I heard that one of my pictures went viral in which I appear as if I’m dead; [however,] this is totally false. I’m alive, my friends and fans, Alhamdolillah [praise be to God]. I had a car accident when I was travelling with a few of my friends, following which we became unconscious. We were [subsequently] treated. I was bleeding from my nose and my head but my head was not fractured. I hit my head badly in the car accident and that was why my nose was bleeding. When they were taking care of me, they put cotton pads over my head and into my nose. I was totally unconscious and, at that moment, one of my friends took my picture. I’m not aware as to who shared those pictures ahead. A lot of media called my mother to ask about me. I was unable to speak properly so l had to make this video.”
The first picture in the viral tweet is from what appears to be Noori’s Facebook profile, while the second one is, as the singer says, from when she was under treatment following the car accident.
Moreover, Izharullah and Iftikhar Firdous — a journalist and founding editor of The Khorasan Diary — also confirmed later that Hasiba Noori is alive, posting videos and information here (archive), here (archive), here (archive), and here (archive).
Izharullah quoted her music director, Zeeshan Talaash, as saying Noori was “recovering”. Firdous — who spoke to her via a video call and took a screenshot “to verify she was alive and it was her I was speaking to” — said she was “in Karachi”.
The claim was shared by well-known individuals, such as Afghan activist and journalist Nilofar Ayoubi (archive), a former member of the Afghan Parliament, Farzana Elham Kochai (archive), and Faran Jeffery (archive) — the deputy director of the Islamic Theology of Counter Terrorism (ITCT), a UK-based think tank, who is also known as NatSecJeff and FJ.
Multiple Indian media outlets posted the claim as authentic news; these included Tribune India, News18, The Statesman, Free Press Journal, The Print, TeluguStop, Manorama Online, The Wire, India TV News, Firstpost, Sangbad Pratidin, Newsroom Odisha, Kolkata TV, Sakshi, Kashmir Radar, Namasthe Telangana, Samacharnama, and Samaj Weekly.
Conclusion: There is no truth to the claim. Hasiba Noori has released a video statement saying that she is alive. Moreover, police in Peshawar and Quetta have denied receiving information about any such targeted killing.
Background image in cover photo: Farid Ershad
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