Claim: An image shows the Saudi Iqama of Maryam Nawaz Sharif, categorising her as a “non-Muslim maid”.

Fact: The image is doctored and does not show an authentic Iqama.

On 23 February 2024, X (formerly Twitter) user @AhmedFarkhanda posted (archive) a visual showing what seems to be an Iqama, or a residence permit that allows foreigners to live and work in the Kingdom, issued to Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif.

The visual has the following superimposed text:

“غیر مسلم نوکرانی مریم صفدر نواز شریف
[Non-Muslim maid Maryam Safdar Nawaz Sharif]”

“نوٹ: چوری کا مال چھپانے کے لیے آپ کو غیر مسلمان نو کر بھی بنا پڑ سکتا ہے
[Note: You may even have to pretend to be a non-Muslim maid to hide your stolen property]”

Nawaz — the senior vice president of the ruling party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), and daughter of Pakistan’s former premier and party supremo, Nawaz Sharif — took oath (archive) as the chief minister of Punjab on 26 February 2024.

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check analysed the card in question and ascertained at first that the image of Nawaz is not in line with the standard of photos included in official documents; rather, it appears to be from an event that she attended. We were able to trace this picture of her as far back as 29 April 2017, when it appeared in a BBC News Tamil article (archive) here.

Secondly, the way her name is stated is not in line with the regular format. Typically, in an Iqama, the name should only include either the name of her father, Nawaz Sharif, or that of her husband, Capt (r) Muhammad Safdar; however, the one in the viral image states both, i.e., “Maryam Safdar Nawaz Sharif.”

Also read: Spanish publication did not call Nawaz Sharif a thief in recent article

Another visible discrepancy is that Nawaz’s nationality — “باكستان [Pakistan]” — appears to have been doctored into the Iqama as the text is darker and slightly tilted.

Lastly, the company name is written as “شركة بنما للفساد جدة,” which translates to “Panama Corruption Company Jeddah.” Rather than being the name of an actual company, this is a seemingly ironic reference to Maryam Nawaz and her father being named (archive) in the Panama Papers (archive) case.

Furthermore, on 15 August 2017, Nawaz herself posted (archive) on X that the Iqama was “fake”.

A day prior to that, on 14 August 2017, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Nabil Gabol had made the same claim, alleging that “Maryam Nawaz has been labelled a non-Muslim maid in her Iqama”, according (archive) to an X post by “Power Play,” an ARY News talk show hosted by the late journalist Arshad Sharif. The following day, the same claim was also reported (archive) by Daily Pakistan.


Soch Fact Check found that the claim in question has gone viral multiple times in the past, including here in 2022, here in 2020, here, here, here, here, and here in 2019, and here, here, here, here, and here in 2017.

Conclusion: The image is doctored and does not show an authentic Iqama.

Background image in cover photo: TheMaryamNSharif

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3 months ago

[…] Read more: Doctored Iqama of Maryam Nawaz resurfaces on social media […]

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