Imran Khan did not say “Daily mail did not apologize wholeheartedly”

A fake Geo headline has been associated with Imran Khan

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Claim: Imran Khan said “I know Daily Mail did not genuinely apologize” with regards to the Daily Mail apology to Shahbaz Sharif. 

Fact: The false quote has been edited onto a Geo Headline template. Geo has neither published this statement nor has Imran Khan made such a statement. 

On 8 December 2022, the Daily Mail issued an apology to Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif following the defamation lawsuit filed by Sharif. On 4 July 2019, Daily Mail reporter David Rose published a story in which it accused Sharif of embezzling funds provided by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) following the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan. Sharif was the chief minister of Punjab at the time. The story faced backlash from the PML-N government and the DFID alike. PML-N claimed the story had been published “on the behest of Prime Minister Imran Khan”. In 2019 the Daily Mail claimed that according to the Pakistan National Accountability Bureau, Shahbaz Sharif had misused British public funds. In January 2020, Shahbaz Sharif filed a defamation case against the publication and journalist. 

Following the lawsuit decision, the Daily Mail issued a clarification and correction and removed the story from its website. 

Fact or Fiction?

On 9 December, a false quote that was attributed to PTI chairman Imran Khan went viral on social media. It said, “ہمارے پاس اطلاعات ہیں کہ ڈیلی میل نے دل سے معافی نہیں مانگی ، عمران خان” [We have information that Daily Mail did not wholeheartedly apologize- Imran Khan”]. The quote is false and has not been reported on any credible media channels or news websites.

The claim has gone viral on social media, in text form as well as in a photo which has been edited on to a Geo News headline format.

Fake Geo News headline

On 14 December, Geo Fact Check issued a clarification on its official Twitter account. 

Virality

Soch Fact Check conducted a CrowdTangle analysis for the 30-day period since 16 November to 16 December using the following search terms:

  • “ڈیلی میل نے دل سے معافی نہیں مانگی” [Daily mail did not wholeheartedly apologize].

The search turned up 835 interactions across 20 posts on Facebook. It was shared on Facebook here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. The claim was most viral on Twitter. It was shared here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here

Conclusion: Imran Khan did not say, “I know Daily Mail did not genuinely apologize [to Shahbaz Sharif]. The claim is false.

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