Pervaiz Khattak did not abuse journalists in Parliament elevator

Viral video shows former NA speaker Asad Qaiser using the B-word

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Claim: A video shows former defence minister Pervaiz Khattak hurling abuse at journalists while entering the National Assembly.

Fact: The former speaker of the National Assembly, Asad Qaiser, was the one who used  abusive language, not Khattak.

On 9 April 2022, Facebook page ‘Talaqi Ik Neyazi’ posted a video showing Pervaiz Khattak and Asad Qaiser, the former defence minister and the National Assembly speaker, respectively, entering an elevator with journalists following them and asking questions. Reporters can be seen recording the two politicians with their mobile phones before security personnel prevent them from stepping into the elevator.

However, as the doors close, a voice from inside the lift can be heard hurling abuse at the journalists, specifically saying “Bhenc***”.

The Facebook page captioned the video clip as follows:

“اسپیکر قومی اسمبلی اسد قیصر کے ہمراہ پارلیمنٹ پہنچنے والے وزیر دفاع پرویز خٹک نے ووٹنگ سے متعلق سوال کے جواب میں صحافیوں کو گالی دے دی۔ اسپیکر قومی اسمبلی اور وزیر دفاع پرویز خٹک وزیراعظم ہاؤس سے قومی اسمبلی پہنچ گئے ہیں۔ اس موقع پر صحافیوں نے اسد قیصر سے سوال کیا کہ کیا آپ ووٹنگ کروائیں گے؟ اس کے جواب میں اسپیکر قومی اسمبلی خاموش رہے لیکن پرویز خٹک نے صحافیوں کو گالی دے دی۔”

The Urdu text, translated into English, reads:

“Defense Minister Pervez Khattak, who reached the Parliament accompanied by Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser, abused journalists in response to a question about voting. Speaker National Assembly and Defense Minister Pervez Khattak have reached the National Assembly from the Prime Minister’s House. On this occasion, journalists asked Asad Qaiser if he would conduct voting. In response, the Speaker of the National Assembly remained silent but Pervez Khattak abused the journalists.”

As the video caught on and was reposted by numerous pages on social media platforms, including on Facebook and Twitter, many criticised Khattak for abusing the journalists. Others, however, claimed that it was Qaiser who used the impolite word.

The video comes as Imran Khan was ousted from the prime minister’s office following a midnight vote of no-confidence, two days after he tried to prevent the move by dissolving the assemblies and calling for an early election.

Fact or fiction?

Soch Fact Check combed through multiple videos of the night’s events, filmed and uploaded by reporters present at the National Assembly where the no-confidence vote took place.

The incident of Khattak allegedly hurling abuse at journalists took place outside an elevator of the National Assembly. We also found clips of the incident taken from other angles — available here and here.

We came across a video posted by Ghazanfar Abbas, an Islamabad-based journalist associated with Hum News, of the same incident but from a different angle. In that video, it appears that the abuse came from Qaiser, not Khattak.

(Content warning: The following video contains strong language)

Soch Fact Check then slowed down the video to try and identify who speaks as the door to the elevator closes. If Qiaser’s lip movement is observed closely, he can be seen uttering the word, “Bhenc***”.

Virality

Soch Fact Check conducted a CrowdTangle analysis for the past three-day period using the following search terms:

  • “پرویز خٹک”
  • “پرویز خٹک گالی”
  • “پرویز خٹک اسد قیصر”
  • “Asad Qaiser journalist”

The first search term yielded close to 5,500 posts on Facebook that garnered more than 907,520 interactions. However, it is worth noting that the search term “پرویز خٹک” does not lead exclusively to false or misleading posts since the term is fairly generic; however, false and misleading posts are included among the results.

The second, third, and fourth search terms turned up 4,121 interactions across 78 posts, 115,715 interactions across 897 posts, and 534 interactions across 17 posts, respectively.

The most number of views, on the other hand, was received on this video, while this video and this video are second- and third-highest in terms of viewership.

Conclusion: The claims that former defence minister Pervaiz Khattak hurled abuses at reporters asking him questions outside an elevator in the National Assembly building are misleading. It was, in fact, former National Assembly speaker Asad Qaiser who used the abusive term.

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