Misleading report misrepresents Ahsan Iqbal’s comment about CSS exam

Ahsan Iqbal did not say that the CSS exam should be conducted solely in Urdu


Claim: Senior leader of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) Ahsan Iqbal said that the Central Superior Services (CSS) exam should be conducted in Urdu in his address at a seminar held by the Maulana Zafar Ali Trust.

Fact: Posts sharing the quote are misrepresenting Ahsan Iqbal’s words and missing context; referring to the CSS exam, Iqbal actually said that the exam should be bilingual.

Fact or Fiction?

On 2 January 2022, in the following headline of a post published by Startup Pakistan on Facebook, it is implied that PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal said that the CSS exam should be held in Urdu:

CSS exam should be given in Urdu, Ahsan Iqbal”

The claim started doing the rounds on social media a day after the politician spoke at a seminar held in Lahore.

Soch Fact Check found this to be misleading after viewing Iqbal’s full address on YouTube. Between 16:40 and 17:52, the former minister can be heard saying that during his tenure he made efforts to ensure that the CSS exam be bilingual but the bureaucracy strongly opposed it.

He added that Urdu should also be used alongside English to conduct the exam as this will provide an equal opportunity to those CSS aspirants who want to appear for the examination but are not proficient in English.


Startup Pakistan’s misleading post has gained significant traction on Facebook, it has 6,200 likes, 991 comments and 178 shares.

A CrowdTangle analysis revealed that multiple Facebook pages and groups in Pakistan including Parhlo, Youth of Pakistan Foundation, and People Magazine Pakistan picked up the story following Startup Pakistan’s post.

The analysis further showed that the search term “CSS exam should be in Urdu: Ahsan Iqbal” received 8,418 interactions across eight Facebook posts since 1 January 2022.

Conclusion: Ahsan Iqbal’s statement regarding the CSS exam is being misrepresented by various posts online. The politician did not say that the CSS exam should be conducted solely in Urdu, but rather that Urdu should also be introduced as an option alongside English as this will allow those who are not proficient in English to take the exam.

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