Claim: A picture depicts the April 2023 meeting between Nawaz Sharif and Muhammed bin Salman as the former visited Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah.

Fact: Soch Fact Check found the image is from 2016 when the Saudi crown prince visited Pakistan and met Nawaz Sharif. The pictures and videos, although real, have been taken out of context.

On 21 April 2023, Twitter user Nasir Butt (@nasirbuttuk) posted a video clip of Nawaz Sharif and Mohammed bin Salman with the caption, “A gift for the youth! Leader Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s meeting with Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman!” 

Images from the same occasion were also shared by other Twitter users with similar captions, such as Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan (@ranamashhood).

Some news reports also used visuals from the same occasion to illustrate stories about Nawaz Sharif’s alleged meeting with Mohammed bin Salman in 2023. For example, We News published an article on 21 April 2023 with the headline “An important meeting between former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman”. The article used the picture as the main image and did not mention that it was an old photo.

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check analyzed the keyframes from this clip of Nawaz Sharif and Mohammed bin Salman and found two pieces of evidence that indicate that it is not from the leaders’ purported recent meeting in Saudi Arabia.

First, we performed a reverse image search on Google and found that both pieces of media were shared online at earlier dates. The pictures were actually taken on 28 August 2016, when Mohammed bin Salman visited Pakistan as the deputy crown prince and met Nawaz Sharif at the Prime Minister House. The picture was published by various media outlets at the time, such as Dawn News and Getty Images.

Second, we noticed  a picture of Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah hanging on the wall behind them, indicating that the picture is likely to have been taken in Pakistan, not in Saudi Arabia.

Therefore, we conclude that the  picture and video have been shared out of context by various sources, including self-identified PMLN supporters and news reports.

Virality

Soch Fact Check conducted a CrowdTangle analysis for the 9 day period from 21 April 2023 to 30 April 2023 using the following search terms:

  • “Nawaz Sharif Saudi”
  • “نواز شریف سعودی”
  • “Nawaz Sharif MBS”
  • “نواز شریف محمد بن سلمان”

The tweet from @nasirbuttuk was viewed more than 1.8 million times, liked by more than 2,000 people and retweeted by more than 500 people. The same picture was also shared by other Twitter users, and @ranamashhood’s post was also viewed more than a million times. 

Conclusion: The visuals of Nawaz Sharif and Mohammed bin Salman are from 2016 and have been shared out of context in 2023.

 

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