No, Shehbaz Sharif did not cry over recent increase in petrol prices

Photo originally from when Shehbaz Sharif watched a video on Pakistan’s martyrs


Claim: Shehbaz Sharif cried over the pain people are experiencing due to increasing inflation after increasing the petrol prices by PKR 19.95.

Fact: The photo is authentic but presented misleadingly; Sharif’s party, the PML-N, posted it in May 2023, with the caption that he cried while watching a video of Pakistan Army martyrs during an event where he also met the martyrs’ families.

On 1 August 2023, Facebook user Hamid Latif Jarral posted (archive) a picture of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif with a tear rolling down his face. The caption accompanying the photo is as follows:

“پٹرولیم مصنوعات میں 19.95 کااضافہ کرنے کے بعد بڑھتی مہنگائی اور عوام کے درد میں وزیراعظم پاکستان شہباز شریف کے آنسو نکل آئے ۔ مثبت رپورٹنگ
[After increasing the petrol prices by PKR 19.95, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif cried over the pain people are experiencing due to increasing inflation. Positive reporting!]”

The Sharif-led federal government hiked petrol prices on 1 August, effective immediately, with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar saying (archive) the decision was made “in the national interest”.

The move is expected to pump up inflation, which rose to 28.3% in July, year-on-year (YoY), Reuters reported (archive), citing the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). “In June, the CPI rise was 29.4% year-on-year, coming off a record 38% in May,” the publication said.

The petrol price jump comes as part of a standby agreement (archive) between Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) last month.

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check ran a reverse-image search and found the claim to be untrue. Google Lens led us to a 24 May 2023 Reddit post (archive) — titled “PML-N: Grief knows no boundaries” — by user BlandBiryani in the r/pakistan thread.

PML-N: Grief knows no boundaries
by u/BlandBiryani in pakistan

The picture can be found online as early as 24 May 2023 by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) — Sharif’s party, of which he is the president — on its social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The respective archived links are available here, here, and here.

The PML-N captioned the picture as follows:

Grief knows no boundaries.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif could not hold his tears as he met the courageous heirs of our fallen heroes. Pakistan is blessed to have a PM who feels the pain of the nation. 💚🇵🇰

Reporter Ihtisham Ul Haq also tweeted (archive) the image with the caption, “PM Shahbaz cried watching martyrs video.”

A video of the moment can be found here (archive) on Dunya News’ YouTube channel.


The post by Facebook user Hamid Latif Jarral has received close to 60 comments and was shared over a dozen times.

Facebook’s fact-checking tool notes that the post has been viewed more than 5.8 million times over the past 24 hours.

Conclusion: The photo shows Sharif crying while watching a video of the Pakistan Army martyrs during an event where he also met the martyrs’ families. It is authentic but presented in a misleading context.

Background image in cover photo: @ShehbazSharif

To submit an appeal on our fact-check, please send an email to

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

More Stories

Viral selfie of caretaker PM was not taken during recent UNGA visit

In 2019, Kakar praised Imran Khan for aggressive speech targeting India

This image does not show the daughter of Pakistan’s former top judge

Image actually shows TV show host Shiffa Z. Yousafzai
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x