Claim: Politician Miftah Ismail advised Maryam Nawaz Sharif against framing a narrative around the Toshakhana case or inflation against Imran Khan, warning that it could backfire. He also blamed her politics for causing harm to the entire country.

Fact: Miftah Ismail clarified that he did not give any such statement. In fact, he reiterated his stance on the matter, saying that Imran Khan did not declare the watches’ value accurately in the Toshakhana case. 

In February 2024, a viral message on WhatsApp was shared with Soch Fact Check, marked as “forwarded”, and it said:

“ہم نے مریم نواز کو مشورہ دیا تھا کہ عمران خان کے خلاف توشہ خانہ یا مہنگائی کا نیریٹو نا بنائیں۔ کیونکہ اس میں تو پھر ہم سب ہی پھنستے ہیں۔ مریم نواز نے کہا کہ پھر آپ لوگ کوئی ایسی چیز لائیں جس پر عمران خان کو نشانہ بنایا جا سکے۔ جب ایسا کوئی کیس نہیں ملا تو مریم نے ہمیں بزدل اور ناکام کہا اور جیو اور سما نیوز کا سہارا لیا۔ مریم کی سیاست پورے ملک کو تباہی کی طرف لے گئی۔

مفتاح اسماعیل

[Translation: We advised Maryam Nawaz against framing narratives of Toshakhana or inflation targeting Imran Khan, as it could backfire. Maryam insisted on finding alternative angles to criticise Khan, but when none were found, she resorted to labelling us cowards and failures, relying on Geo and Samaa News. Maryam’s politics has led to the country’s downfall.” – Miftah Ismail]”

Miftah Ismail

He served as the Finance Minister between April to September 2022. Formerly associated with Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), Miftah Ismail has now stepped back from politics.

Maryam Nawaz Sharif

She is the daughter of former Pakistani Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, and has been elected as the first woman chief minister of Punjab following the 8 February general elections in Pakistan. 

Maryam hails from a prominent political dynasty, with her father, uncle, and cousin all having served as Punjab’s chief ministers. Initially not involved in politics, she emerged as a key figure in the PML-N after her father’s disqualification in 2017. 

Despite facing legal challenges and a decade-long disqualification from contesting elections, she has risen to prominence, particularly following her father’s self-imposed exile in 2019 and his return to Pakistan in October 2023. Currently, she is also the senior vice president and chief organiser of her party.

Imran Khan’s imprisonment

Just a week before the election, Khan was given three additional sentences; fourteen years in the Toshakhana case, ten years in the cipher case and seven years in a case which ruled his marriage un-Islamic.

Toshakhana case

Khan has been accused of buying and selling gifts unlawfully during his premiership, that are stored in the Toshakhana, a government-owned department. The gifts, valued at over 140 million Pakistani rupees, included perfumes, diamond jewellery, dinner sets, and Rolexes. Khan said he had purchased and declared the items legally, denying accusations of wrongdoing or profiting off of state gifts. 

However, as per the prosecution’s claim, he did not disclose the correct amount of income made from selling the gifts, while his aides were also accused of selling some of the gifts in Dubai and “concealing” their actual value. 

The August court judgement accused Khan of hiding benefits from the national exchequer and providing false information about the gifts obtained from the Toshakhana during his 2018 to 2022 tenure.

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check found that the statement has been falsely attributed to Miftah Ismail. The former minister issued a clarification on X on 13 February, protesting that false “posts” of this type keep resurfacing. 

“This is probably the 70th time I am clarifying that neither has such an incident occurred nor have I said anything of this sort. Instead, it is now apparent in the Toshakhana case that Khan Sahib artificially declared a lower price of the watches, and the one who had labelled the others as thieves has exposed the disparity between his own words and actions,” he added further.


On Facebook, the claim was posted in June 2023, including here, here, here, here and here.

The claim can be found here and here on YouTube. 

Conclusion: A false statement has been attributed to Miftah Ismail in which he advises Maryam Nawaz against framing political narratives against Imran Khan, and blames her politics for harming the country. Ismail took to X and clarified that he did not make any such statement.

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