Person seen on banner held up by Imran Khan was not killed during the recent long march
The activist and jouranlist was killed last year
Claim: In a video posted to his official Facebook account, Former Prime Minister Imran Khan can be seen holding up a banner with a picture of a man, who Khan claims in the video was killed during the 2022 Long March in Islamabad. Khan can be heard blaming the man’s death on federal interior minister Rana Sanaullah, who was in charge of issuing instructions to police the March. The video posted by Khan was reshared by multiple social media users.
Fact: The image on the banner held up by Khan in the video is not of a protester who was killed during the recent Long March. The image is in fact of Muhammad Zada Agra, who was murdered on 8 Nov 2021 in Sakhakot, Malakand.
Fact or Fiction?
On 29 May 2022, Imran Khan shared a video clip on his official Facebook page of a recent jalsa in Charsadda. In the clip, Khan can be seen lifting a banner with an image of a dead body on it. Khan claims in the video that the person in the image was shot dead during the recent PTI Long March in Islamabad on the orders of Rana Sanaullah. On 26 May, he tweeted about the alleged deaths of two PTI workers at the hands of the Punjab Police.
Soch Fact Check has not independently investigated the claim made in Khan’s tweet, however, the person pictured on the banner is actually Muhammad Zada, an anti-drug activist, and journalist from Malakand who was murdered on 8 Nov 2021 in Sakhakot.
The news of Zada’s murder was reported by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) on 9 Nov 2021. The Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan had also posted about the news on his official Facebook page.
To assess the virality of the video in question, Soch Fact Check conducted a CrowdTangle analysis using the caption of Imran Khan’s post as the search keyword:
چارسدہ میں حقیقی آزادی مارچ دوم کی تیاریوں کا آغاز ہو گیا۔ ہمارے نوجوان پہلے سے بھی بڑھ کر پرجوش ہیں۔ پرامن مظاہرین خصوصاً خواتین پر پولیس سےبہیمانہ تشدد کروانے پر عوام میں قاتل ثناءاللہ، بزدل کرائم منسٹر اور اسکے بدعنوان بیٹے کیخلاف شدید غصہ پایا جاتا ہے
Translation: “Preparations for the second Azadi March began in Charsadda. Our youth are more passionate than ever. People have been angry with the murderer (Rana) Sanaullah, the cowardly Crime Minister, and his corrupt son for using police to brutally torture the peaceful protesters, especially women.”
The search showed that the video garnered over 40,000 interactions across 30 posts on Facebook over a period of 7 days from 24 – 31 May.
Conclusion: Imran Khan claims two PTI workers, Faisal Abbas Chaudhry from Lahore and Syed Ahmed Jan from Mardan, were killed by the Punjab Police during the recent Long March. Soch Fact Check has not investigated this claim. However, while speaking about the alleged deaths of these PTI workers during the Charsadda Jalsa, Khan held up a banner that showed an image of journalist and anti-drug activist Muhammad Zada Agra who was killed in 2021.
Correction: This article was previously headlined “Image shown by Imran Khan at Charsadda Jalsa is of a murdered journalist, not PTI worker.” This headline was edited on 4 June 2022 to more accurately reflect the contents of the article.