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Old photo passed off as PTI’s recent Minar-e-Pakistan rally

The photo is from April 2018

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Claim: A photo shows Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s rally at Minar-e-Pakistan, Lahore held on 25 March 2023.

Fact: The photo taken on 29 April 2018 shows PTI’s Minar-e-Pakistan rally in Lahore held five years ago.

Fact or Fiction?

On 26 March 2022, columnist Orya Maqbool Jan posted a photo showing the aerial view of a public gathering and claimed it was from Imran Khan’s recent PTI rally at Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore.

“لاھور نے پاکستان کی ساری گھسی پٹی سیاسی قیادت اور اس کی پشت پر کھڑی اسٹیبلشمنٹ کی پوری قوت کو شکست دے دی۔ عوام جب فیصلہ کر لے توکنٹینر دیوار بنتے ہیں اور نہ کسی گولی لاٹھی اور آنسو گیس کا خوف راستہ روکتا ہے ۔ [Lahore defeated the entire power of Pakistan’s entrenched political leadership and the establishment standing behind it. When the people make a decision, the containers become a wall and no bullet sticks or fear of tear gas blocks the way],” his tweet reads.

Soch Fact Check found the claim to be misleading. Reverse image-search tools led us to an article published by Such TV on 30 April 2018. It’s titled, “Imran Khan expresses gratitude to public over successful rally at Minar-e-Pakistan.”

The report features a tweet by the PTI Chairman, who had shared a photo on 30 April 2018  thanking his supporters for attending the rally. This photo is similar to the viral photo. Other similar photos were also posted by digital media outlet Siasat.pk, sports journalist Saj Sadiq and PTI’s Sayed Z Bukhari on Twitter on the same date.

The graphic below shows a comparison between the viral photo and the original photos from 2018.

Virality:

The tweet by Orya Maqbool Jan (@OryaMaqboolJan), who has a verified Twitter account, gained significant traction with 985,900 people viewing the post, as well as 23,000 retweets, 64,000 likes and 65 bookmarks as of writing time.

Journalist Sabir Shakir also tweeted the viral photo that received 1.5 million views, 14,400 retweets, 55,100 likes and 53 bookmarks at the time of writing, but later clarified that he shared the photo without a caption. 

On Facebook, the photo can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

Conclusion: The photo has been wrongly linked to PTI’s 26 March 2023 rally at Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore. It is actually from 29 April 2018, when the political party held a rally at the same location. 

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