Photo from Maulana Adil’s assassination shared as scene of Arshaf Sharif’s killing

Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif was shot dead near Nairobi, Kenya


Claim: An image of a car’s bloodied interior shows the aftermath of Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif’s alleged assassination.

Fact: The picture is, in fact, of the inside of the car in which Maulana Muhammad Adil Khan, a religious scholar and Jamia Farooqia Karachi’s rector, was assassinated in October 2020. It has no relation whatsoever to the killing of Arshad Sharif.

On 24 October 2022, news emerged that Arshad Sharif, an investigative journalist formerly associated with ARY News, was allegedly shot dead near the Nairobi-Magadi highway in Kenya, with local authorities terming it a case of “mistaken identity”, according to The Star newspaper.

Hours later, a picture of the bloodied interior of a vehicle began making the rounds on social media with the claim that it depicted the aftermath of Sharif’s alleged murder. The Facebook posts were accompanied by poetry and messages of condolence.

A post by Facebook user ‘Amir Khan’ became quite viral, receiving more than 4,400 reactions and over 400 comments while being shared upwards of 1,200 times.

Sharif was in a self-imposed exile after he, along with ARY News’ top brass, were nominated in sedition cases.

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check used reverse image search tools to investigate if the picture indeed shows the vehicle in which Sharif was allegedly murdered. However, the image is unrelated and originally surfaced back in October 2020.

We found that the image is, in fact, from after the killing of Maulana Adil Khan, a Muslim religious scholar and rector at the Jamia Farooqia Karachi, who was shot dead in Karachi in October 2020. The picture was posted by multiple Facebook pages — such as here and here — while media outlets — such as Geo News English, Geo News Urdu, Daily Jang, Samaa TV, and Express News — carried a shot of the same vehicle from another angle.

Soch Fact Check concludes that the image of a car’s bloodied interior is being incorrectly linked to journalist Arshad Sharif’s alleged murder. The photograph is actually from the aftermath of Maulana Adil Khan’s assassination.


Soch Fact Check conducted a CrowdTangle analysis for the one-day period from 11:59 PM on 23 October 2022 to 3:00 PM on 24 October using the following search terms (we limited our search by using the ‘Photos only’ filter):

  • “Arshad Sharif”
  • “ارشد شریف گاڑی”

The first search term turned up 1,536 posts on Facebook with more than 640,000 interactions, whereas the second search term yielded 4,594 interactions across over 180 posts on Facebook.

The image also appeared here on Instagram, gaining upwards of 1,800 likes and receiving more than 200 comments. On Twitter, the photograph appeared here, here, here, here, and here.

Conclusion: The picture linked to the killing of Pakistani journalist and anchor Arshad Sharif actually shows the inside of a car in which religious scholar Maulana Adil Khan was travelling when he was assassinated in October 2020.

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