Khawaja Asif did not apologise to Rehana Dar
A screenshot of his tweet is doctored
Claim: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) senior leader, Khawaja Asif has apologised to the family of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) former leader, Usman Dar.
Fact: Khawaja Asif did not tweet an apology to the Dar family. A screenshot of his tweet circulating online is doctored.
Ahead of the 2024 general elections, Imran Khan’s PTI faced obstacles with multiple key leaders and supporters behind bars, defections, and the loss of its ‘cricket bat’ symbol, which has raised concerns about fair campaigning and a level playing field.
Khan, the cricketer-turned-politician, won the 2018 election but was not on the ballot in the 2024 elections due to imprisonment, which is decried as a politically motivated conspiracy by Khan and his supporters.
Just a week before the election, Khan was given three additional sentences; fourteen years in the cipher case, ten years in the Toshakhana case and seven years in a case about his marriage being ruled un-Islamic.
According to the results issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), former prime minister Imran Khan’s backed independents are leading by winning the most number of seats in the National Assembly. However, none of the political parties have been able to secure a simple majority to form the government.
Who is Rehana Imtiaz Dar?
The mother of former PTI leader Usman Dar, Rehana Dar has entered politics for the first time. She came into the spotlight after accusing PML-N’s leader, Khawaja Asif and the Sialkot police of raiding her home and mistreating her. However, both parties deny these allegations.
Rehana Dar has also alleged that her son Umar was abducted to sabotage her chances at an electoral victory. She decided to contest the General Election 2024 from NA-71 to take on Khawaja Asif, whom she blames for her sons’ alleged kidnapping and torture.
Her son, Usman Dar who lost to Asif in 2018 by a narrow margin, quit politics in October 2023 following the events of 9 May.
Fact or Fiction?
On 8 February 2024, X (formerly Twitter) user Saqib Ali (@MrSaqibali06) shared (archive) a screenshot of a tweet by PML-N’s leader Khawaja Asif, in which he apologises to the Dar family and the whole of Pakistan who have allegedly suffered because of him.
The caption of the tweet reads,
“اہم ترین بریکنگ نیوز
خواجہ آصف نے ڈار فیملی اور پورے پاکستان سے معافی مانگ کر سیاست چھوڑنے کا اعلان کر دیا۔
[The most important breaking news
Khawaja Asif apologised to the Dar family and the whole of Pakistan and announced to quit politics.]
The following is an English translation of Khawaja Asif’s tweet, referred to by @MrSaqibali06:
“Usman Dar’s mother Rehana Dar suffered a lot because of me. I am very ashamed because of this, and I apologise to the Dar family and all of Pakistan. I do not consider it appropriate to contest elections in these circumstances. I announce that I am quitting politics.”
Soch Fact Check found the claim to be false. We observed several errors in the aforementioned screenshot of the tweet, particularly the absence of the “@” symbol before the username, the lowercase “k” in “Khawaja” and “a” in “Asif” whereas the PML-N leader’s username for his official X account is written as @KhawajaMAsif.
A comparison of the viral tweet with Asif’s recent tweet highlights other discrepancies too, such as the absence of the view-count next to the date, which suggests that the screenshot is doctored. The sequence of icons for comments, reposts, likes, and views also differs from the typical format; the viral tweet lists comments, reposts, likes, and then views, contrary to the recent layout of a tweet.
Even after conducting a reverse-image search, and sifting through Asif’s X timeline, Soch Fact Check could not find any posts by him issuing an apology to the Dar family. On the contrary, Asif has extended his gratitude to the constituents of NA-71 for their support in the 2024 election, via a tweet on 11 February 2024, after being elected to represent them for the seventh consecutive term.
این اے71 کی عظیم عوام کا شکریہ کہ آپ نے مجھے انتخابات 2024میں پر خلوص محبت، قوی اعتماد اور پر جوش حمایت سے نوازا۔ میرے لیے یہ اعزاز کی بات ہے کہ سیالکوٹ کی با شعورعوام نے مجھے متواتر ساتویں مرتبہ اپنی نمائندگی کے لیۓ منتخب کيا۔
مجھے اپنے حلقے کے مسائل کا شدید احساس ھے انشاء…
— Khawaja M. Asif (@KhawajaMAsif) February 11, 2024
According to official results by the Election Commission of Pakistan, Asif defeated PTI-backed independent candidate Rehana Dar in NA-71 Sialkot II. He bagged 118,566 votes, while his opponent secured 100,272 votes.
However, Rehana Dar has challenged Asif’s victory in the Lahore High Court, based on alleged rigging in the election, claiming that she has actually won based on the Form-45 results that she has. Multiple news outlets have also reported this, including Dawn News, Bol News, Dunya News and The Nation.
The claim was also shared here on X.
Conclusion: PML-N’s leader, Khawaja Asif did not apologise to Rehana Dar and her family. The tweet circulating online, purportedly showing Asif’s apology, is doctored, as is evident by the numerous errors that Soch Fact Check has identified within the viral tweet.
To appeal against our fact-check, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org