Khadijah Shah has not been released from jail
She will appear before court tomorrow
Claim: Fashion designer Khadija Shah has been released from jail after she issued an apology via a video message.
Fact: Shah is still in the Kot Lakhpat Jail.
Fact or Fiction?
On 29 May 2023, Twitter user Syed Kazim Zaidi (@Kazim_Zai) shared a video of Khadijah Shah with the claim that she has been released from jail after she issued an apology.
“Khadija Shah has been released from prison in Pakistan after serving several day for charges. Let’s hope she can now rebuild her life and be reunited with her loved ones. #KhadijaShah #Pakistan #PrisonRelease #JusticeServed @khadijahah,” his tweet reads.
In the 48-second video, Shah can be seen reading out an apology for her tweets about the Pakistan Army:
“[I] have been extremely upset by the events of the past few days, especially the arson of our armed forces’ installations and Shuhada monuments. I myself belong to an army family having grown up in different cantonments. It is heartbreaking to see all that has transpired. I am also regretful of my own tweet on Twitter where I tweeted inappropriate remarks about our high command. It was a tweet I did in the heat of the moment which I deleted within an hour as well. I deeply regret the hurt caused by that insensitive comment and apologise for this. My desire is for all the nation to come together and heal as one as soon as possible. Pakistan Zindabad. Pakistan Army Paindabad.”
Shah’s legal team confirmed to Soch Fact Check that “she is still in Kot Lakhpat Jail”. They also told us that Shah’s family “has not been able to meet her and cannot confirm or deny any information independently either” about the conditions she has been kept under.
“They are in receipt of the same information that is in the public domain. They would like to believe in the official public statements that she is well and safe,” the legal team said.
Khadijah Shah is the daughter of former finance minister Salman Shah and the granddaughter of former Pakistan Army Chief Gen (r) Asif Nawaz Janjua. She is a fashion designer, running women’s clothing brands like Elan and Zaha, and is a staunch supporter of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
A 16-minute long audio clip made rounds on social media on 21 May wherein Shah reiterated that she was not involved in the 9 May unrest and said she was going to surrender to the police.
Shah turned herself into the Punjab Police on 23 May over allegations that she led an attack on the residence of the Lahore Corps Commander during the protests that erupted over the arrest of former prime minister Imran Khan.
Police claim to have conducted several raids to catch the fashion designer, who was reportedly in hiding for days. The charges against her include terrorism.
Shah was presented before the Anti-Terrorism Court on 24 May and the court had sent her to jail for seven days for an identification parade.
Caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi said on 29 May during a media talk that “Khadijah Shah is currently held in jail and I think her identity parade is ongoing.”
He reiterated that all those involved in the attack on the Corps Commanders residence will be prosecuted and punished no matter their influence.
Soch Fact Check found the video was also shared by journalist Asad Toor who implied that Khadijah Shah has been released from jail because she belongs to an elite family.
“OfficialDGISPR if you are going to forgive/release #KhadijaShah because she is from elite military family then why thousands of other #PTI workers behind bars and their parents suffering in courts? Just because they are bloody civilians and #KhadijaShah is military blood,” his now-deleted tweet reads.
Senior journalist Talat Hussain also posted the video implying the fashion designer has been forgiven. He clarified in a subsequent tweet that this is Shah’s “pre arrest video that some are trying to use to plead for her exemption from charges.”
Conclusion: Khadjiah Shah has not been released and will be presented in court on 30 May.
Background image in cover photo: Ye Jinghan
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