Miftah Ismail did not say families should share one roti in light of inflation

The Finance Minister has been misquoted

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Claim: Finance Minister Miftah Ismail has suggested that families should learn how to share one piece of bread in light of surging inflation in the country.

Fact: Ismail did not make any such suggestion. In fact, he was referring to an analogy Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif used in a cabinet meeting to refer to cooperation between the four provinces of Pakistan.

Fact or Fiction?

On 7 June 2022, Facebook page Dekhlo shared a post attributing the following statement to Finance Minister Miftah Ismail:

“If there’s only one roti and four brothers, they should eat it together.”

The post is accompanied by the caption, “Finance Minister of Pakistan Miftah Ismail suggests that a family must share bread if there’s only 1 ROTI (Bread) and 4 Brothers. Your thoughts on this 🇵🇰 ? #DekhloTv.”

The claim was picked up by some pages, including here, here, here, here and here.

It started doing the rounds on social media after the PML-N politician spoke at the pre-budget Business Conference held in Islamabad on 7 June.

Soch Fact Check found the claim to be misleading after viewing Ismail’s full address on YouTube. Between 1:25 and 1:59, the minister said that yesterday [6 June] he heard the prime minister say during a cabinet meeting that if there is one roti [bread] and four brothers (referring to the four provinces), everyone should eat a quarter and when there are four rotis [breads], each one can then have one whole roti [bread]. 

Miftah added that along the same vein, the government intends to promote all sectors on board “we’ll take [the] agriculture [sector] together with IT, textile… manufacturing. But we will not ignore anyone.” 

Soch Fact Check ascertained that the “one bread, four brothers” analogy was used by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to refer to the four provinces during a cabinet meeting. Ismail was not proposing this as a solution to tackle inflation in Pakistan. The proliferation of the claim is likely linked to the surging inflation and looming economic crisis in Pakistan.

Virality

According to a CrowdTangle analysis conducted by Soch Fact Check, the search term, “Miftah Ismail family bread”, turned up nine posts on Facebook which received 735 interactions over the three-day period leading up to 10 June May 2022. 

The analysis revealed that Dekhlo’s post received 325 likes and 92 shares, while Orya Maqbool Jan Fanclub’s post received 20 likes and 25 shares. 

The claim was shared by multiple Facebook pages, many of which carried the story in question with the same or very similar headlines and/or captions:

  • “Family should learn how to share one bread,” Miftah Ismail
  • “If there’s one bread and four brothers, they must eat it together,” Finance Minister
  • If there’s only one roti and four brothers, they should eat it together: Says Finance Minister

On Twitter, the claim was shared here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

It was also shared on Instagram, such as here.

Conclusion: Finance Minister Miftah Ismail has been misquoted by different pages. He did not suggest that, in light of inflation, four brothers should share one piece of bread. He was referring to an analogy used by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in a cabinet meeting to encourage cooperation between Pakistan’s four provinces. 

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