Claim: PTI leader Murad Saeed was seen sporting a beard as he emerged from hiding after several months.

Fact: A beard was edited onto Saeed’s face in multiple images. The politician has not been seen in public recently.

On 20 February 2024, X (formerly Twitter) account Naya Pakistan (@Naya__Pakistan_) posted a photo of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) leader, Murad Saeed, sporting a black beard. The tweet has now been deleted.

The accompanying caption reads:

“مراد سعید منظرِ عام پر [Translation: Murad Saeed has emerged in the public scene]”

Some other photos of the politician also surfaced on social media, including here and here which show him sporting a beard but in different attires. 

Murad Saeed

In the wake of crackdowns on members of the PTI following the 9 May protests, many of its leaders and workers went into hiding to evade arrest and potential trials. 

Among them, former federal minister, Murad Saeed narrowly avoided a police raid at a house in Peshawar’s Defence Housing Authority in October 2023, where his brother-in-law, Asad Ilyas and two of the politician’s personal employees were arrested. The police charged other family members, including two women, in an FIR for allegedly aiding Saeed’s escape, according to a report by Dawn

The police conducted the raid after receiving information that Saeed, who is wanted in multiple cases, including under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorist Act, was present at the house. 

In order to arrest him, the Peshawar Police conducted another raid on Kamran Bangash’s hujra in Chamkhani on 22 October 2023. However, instead of finding Saeed, they arrested Bangash for resisting and aiding Saeed’s escape. 

In January 2024, Saeed, along with six other suspects from the PTI, was declared a proclaimed offender by the anti-terrorism court of Lahore for failing to comply with his arrest in the 9 May violence cases. The police reported that despite conducting several raids, the suspects could not be apprehended as they had gone into hiding.

Following the 8 February general elections, several PTI leaders such as Sheikh Waqas Alam and Faisal Javed Khan have emerged from hiding recently.

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check used reverse image search tools to locate the original picture and found a Facebook post by Peshawar News Network shared on 21 February. The post shares a collage of original and doctored images of Saeed, asserting that his viral photos with a beard are not authentic. 

Although we couldn’t locate the images that are labelled “original”  in the post, a few visual consistencies point to their authenticity. The “fake” and “original” images of Saeed in a white kurta shalwar both show a mustard tent in the background, whereas the image depicting a bearded Saeed in a black kurta, features the same greenery and trees in the background that are also visible in the “original” version. Lastly, the picture of Saeed in a grey kurta aligns with the viral photo in terms of his facial expression and the direction of Saeed’s gaze,  suggesting that the photos which depict Saeed with a beard have been visibly manipulated. 

In addition to this, Soch Fact Check ascertained that the politician’s official Facebook page and X account have not posted any recent images of him since he went into hiding, and they do not mention any recent appearances made by Saeed in the public, following the elections.

Soch Fact Check could not find any reports from credible media outlets regarding Saeed’s emergence either.


The false claim with the doctored images can be found here, here, here and here on X. The doctored image was also posted here, albeit without the claim of Saeed’s return.

The photos were also posted here, here, here, here and here on Facebook.

Conclusion: The viral images of Murad Saeed sporting a beard are doctored. He has not appeared in public since he went into hiding, and there is a lack of credible evidence to suggest that the politician emerged in public following the elections.

Background image in cover photo: PTIOfficial

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