Claim: Former finance minister Miftah Ismail has said that the government is putting the blame on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for riots on 9 May 2023 following former prime minister Imran Khan’s arrest and said that the internet was shut down to hide the truth.

Fact: A fabricated statement has been attributed to Miftah Ismail; the former minister did not say anything of the sort.

Fact or Fiction?

On 19 May 2023, the Facebook page IMRAN KHAN PTI claimed that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Miftah Ismail has said that the unrest on 9 May 2023 following Imran Khan’s arrest was orchestrated by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government but they are blaming the PTI. He also said that the internet was shut down to hide the truth.

The text juxtaposed on the graphic is as follows:

“مئی کو جتنی دہشت گردی ہوئی ہے حکومت نے خود کروائی ہے الزام تحریک انصاف پر ڈالنے کے لیے انٹرنیٹ بند رکھا گیا تاکہ سچ چھپایا جا سکے ، مفتاح اسماعیل [The terrorism that happened on 9 May was done by the government itself, but the internet was shut down to hide the truth to blame Tehreek-e-Insaaf, Miftah Ismail],” the post is captioned

Soch Fact Check found the claim to be false. Ismail said in a tweet that the screenshot doing the rounds on social media is “fake”.

“I have said before and will say it again: PTI is responsible for the May 9th riots,” he said. 

Soch Fact Check did not find any media reports about Ismail giving a statement in which he held the PDM government responsible for the riots on 9 May 2023.

The politician had said that the “horrific riots” were organised by PTI and it’s leadership on 17 May. “It is important to call a spade a spade. There is no doubt that these horrific riots that set alight military installations, police stations, a radio station, ambulances, cars and busses and resulted in the loss of lives were organised and motivated by PTI and its leadership,” he had tweeted. 

Khan’s arrest had sparked nationwide protests leaving at least eight people dead, 1,400 detained, and 145 police officers wounded, according to a report that cited authorities. 

Pakistan Rangers had arrested PTI chief Imran Khan from the Islamabad High Court’s premises on 9 May 2023 in the Al-Qadir Trust case while apparently acting on the arrest warrants issued by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Khan was later released on 14 May 2023 on the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.


The claim can be found here, here and here on Facebook.

Conclusion: Miftah Ismail has denied giving any such statement. 

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