Lynched cleric did not talk about Imran Khan
The statement of Maulvi Nigar who was lynched in a mob riot in Mardan was falsely attributed to Imran Khan
Claim: Maulvi Nigar Alam claimed that Imran Khan is a truthful man and that he is like the Prophet.
Fact: Maulvi Nigar Alam made this statement about Saeed Khattak, who is a local PTI leader in Mardan.
On 6 May 2023, videos and images of a mob lynching went viral on social media. These images showed a local cleric speaking to PTI supporters during a PTI solidarity rally in Mardan. According to several social media posts, while speaking in Pashto, Maulvi Nigar Alam said that he believes Imran Khan to be a truthful person and that he is like the Prophet.
Several social media users on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram claimed that the alleged blasphemous statements were said by a local cleric in Mardan in the context of expressing solidarity with Imran Khan.
Fact or Fiction?
Soch Fact Check found the claim to be false.
Two Pashto-speaking members of our team translated Maulvi Nigar Alam’s statement as follows:
“tou mein tum logon se kuch aur nahi keh sakta lekin mein tum logon ke liye iss (bande) ko paighambar (ya sahabi) ke muqabil nahi tehrata. Tou mein kehta hun ke humare Swaldher keliye jo yeh banda aya hai tou yeh paighambari ke darjay se kum nahi hai. Darja (paighambari ka) nahi deta lekin bahar haal tum logon keliye yeh bohat mohtaram shakhs hai.”
[Translation: I am not saying that this man is a companion of the Prophet or a Prophet himself. But for the people of Swaldher, this man is not less than a messenger. I will not give him the same stature but he is indeed a very respectable person for you people.]
This clearly shows that Maulvi Alam had made the allegedly blasphemous remarks about a local PTI leader in Mardan, Saeed Khattak, and not Imran Khan.
This is not the first time an allegation of blasphemy has mob lynching and death. Soch Fact Check spoke to Yasar Talib of the Center of Social Justice, who shared the annual Human Rights observer report for 2022. According to this report, 209 cases of blasphemy were reported in 2020, the highest number of such cases so far.
Previous reports can be viewed on their website here.
Soch Fact Check found that this claim was viral on Facebook and Twitter.
Conclusion: Maulvi Nigar Alam did not talk about Imran Khan being equivalent to the Prophet.