Claim: A photo shows Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan injured in the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) custody following his arrest.

Fact: The photo is unrelated to Khan’s arrest. In fact, it is from May 2013 when Khan fell from a lifter while he was climbing the stage at an election rally in Lahore.

Pakistan Rangers arrested PTI chief Imran Khan from the Islamabad High Court’s premises on 9 May 2023 in the Al-Qadir Trust case while apparently acting on the arrest warrants issued by the NAB.

Khan appeared before Judge Mohammad Bashir at the makeshift NAB court at the Police Lines Islamabad. A photo of him sitting on a chair in the court has circulated on social media. 

The politician’s arrest has sparked nationwide protests. The police said that eight people have died and about 1,000 have been arrested, while PTI has claimed the death toll is much higher. 

It is important to note that this fact-check is not investigating whether Imran Khan was indeed injured in NAB custody, just the origin of the viral photo. 

Fact or Fiction?

On 9 May 2023, Twitter user Baba Banaras™ (@RealBababanaras) posted a photo of former prime minister Imran Khan with the claim that he had suffered injuries in NAB custody following his arrest.

He tweeted the following:

#Flash Assassination attempt of #ImranKhan by a pro Bajwa #PakistanArmy soldier in custody. (Sources)

More details to follow 

#CivilWarInPakistan #Pakistan #ImranKhanArrest #PakistanUnderFascism (File Photo)”

Soch Fact Check searched Google with the search term “Imran Khan skull injured after falling from container 2013” and came across some articles carrying similar photos of Khan. The photo was published by The New York Times on 7 May 2013 and by Dawn and Firstpost on 8 May 2013.

The photo featured in The New York Times article is captioned, “Imran Khan, 60, was rushed to a hospital in Lahore, where he was treated for head wounds and back injuries, doctors said. Credit…Arif Ali/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images.”

The PTI chief had sustained serious injuries on his head and back after falling off a mechanical lift raising him onto a stage installed for a rally in Lahore just days before the general elections in May 2013.

The comparison graphic below shows that the viral photo and the pictures carried by media outlets are the same based on key indicators such as the bandage around Khan’s head and the yellow supporting blocks on the stretcher he is lying on. 


The claim was found here, here, here, here, here and here on Twitter.

The photo was posted here, here and here on Facebook.

Conclusion: An old photo from May 2013, when Imran Khan fell from a lifter at an election rally in Lahore, has been wrongly linked to him being injured in NAB custody following his arrest.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x