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Miftah Ismail did not say that military helped remove Khan from power

Former Finance Minister Miftah Ismail’s interview with We News was taken out of context.

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Claim: Miftah Ismail said that Imran Khan is a good politician, the military helped remove him from power, and elections should be held within 90 days.

Fact: Miftah Ismail’s interview with We News was taken out of context. Three separate sentences were spliced together, which inaccurately portrayed his views as supporting Imran Khan.

On 20 March 2023, Neo News Urdu tweeted an image of Miftah Ismail with the caption “مران خان کو ہٹانے میں فوج نے مدد کی، وہ  اچھے سیاستدان ہیں، انتخابات 90 دن میں ہونے چاہئیں: مفتاح اسماعیل” [Translation: Army helped remove Imran Khan, he is a good politician, elections should be held in 90 days: Miftah Ismail]. 

The article corresponding to this tweet on the Neo News website quoted an interview published by a new local digital news platform called We News. Miftah Ismail is a member of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN), a part of the democratic coalition in government, while Imran Khan is the leader of the opposition. It is uncharacteristic for Miftah Ismail to profess this level of support for the PTI Chairman. 

Hence Soch Fact Check decided to investigate further.

Fact or Fiction?

On 20 March 2023, We News published an interview with Miftah Ismail in which he shared his opinion on the military’s involvement in Khan’s removal from power when he was ousted through a no confidence vote in April 2022. 

According to Miftah Ismail, the United States of America did not interfere in the decision to vote out Khan; instead, the opposition made this choice and was not deterred by the military establishment. Ismail also emphasised that any opposition has the right to call for a vote of no confidence against a sitting prime minister.

In response to the interviewer’s second question, Ismail clarified that he acknowledged Khan as a good politician but not a good political leader. He believes that Khan manipulates the national narrative to his advantage, despite the inconsistencies between his words and actions.

Neo News misinterpreted Ismail’s statements and created a misleading headline claiming that Ismail stated the military establishment helped remove Khan from power and that elections should be held within 90 days.

Ismail rejected this headline in a tweet from his official Twitter account. He stated that the headline was false and clickbait, as it twisted three half-sentences to mean the opposite of what he said. He also clarified that he had not spoken to the media in weeks, and the picture used in the article was from a year ago. He stood by the statement that he believes the elections should be held in 90 days, but he did not stand by the express support for Imran Khan portrayed by Neo News.

Virality

The Neo News tweet was viewed 86,500 times, gathering 3,776 interactions and was shared with Neo News Urdu’s 1,046,671 Twitter followers.  

The same statement was shared in a sensationalized video with a misleading caption by Capital TV on Facebook, here, reaching 16,000 views and 1,346 interactions. 

Conclusion: Miftah Ismail did not endorse Imran Khan.

 

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