PM Imran Khan did not praise Indian Army

Khan’s quote regarding India’s foreign policy has been misrepresented.

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Claim: Prime Minister Imran Khan said that India’s foreign policy is better than  Pakistan’s. He also said that the Indian Army is not corrupt and that it never interferes in the matters of the civilian government.

Fact: While the prime minister did laud India’s foreign policy in his 20 March 2022 address, he did not praise the Indian Army for not being corrupt or for not interfering in the matters of the civilian government. 

Fact or Fiction?

On 21 March 2022, Facebook page National & Global News shared a post claiming that Imran Khan said, “India’s Foreign Policy is better than Pakistan, they work for their people, India’s Army is not corrupt and they never interfere in Civilian Govt.”

Soch Fact Check conducted a review of Khan’s speech at the Malakand jalsa held on 20 March 2022 and found the claim to be misleading.

A short clip of Khan’s address titled, “PM Imran Khan ‘Appreciated’ Indian Foreign Policy In Malakanad Jalsa,” was posted on 24 News HD’s official YouTube channel.

Between 1:55 and 2:34, Khan can be heard saying in Urdu, “We want an independent country. My country’s foreign policy should be for the betterment of my people. The country next to us, India. I want to commend them for always having an independent foreign policy. Today, India is with them. They have an alliance. In QUAD, India is allied with the US, but calls itself neutral. They are importing oil from Russia despite sanctions in place because India’s foreign policy is for the betterment of its people.”

While Khan did praise India’s foreign policy, he did not praise the Indian army or make the remarks indicated in the viral posts. Hence, the prime minister’s statement is being misrepresented by various posts online. 

Soch Fact Check also reviewed Khan’s full address shared by Pakistan’s state-owned broadcaster PTV News on YouTube and did not find the quote by Khan being alluded to in misleading posts online. In fact, apart from commenting on India’s foreign policy, the prime minister made no other mention of India in the rest of his speech. 

The proliferation of the misleading quote could be linked to the current political scenario in Pakistan where Khan faces a no-confidence vote filed by the opposition alliance to oust him. 

Virality

Soch Fact Check also used Facebook’s search feature to check the virality of the video with the search term “I salute India. India’s foreign Policy is better than Pakistan’s, they work for their people, the Indian army is not corrupt and they never interfere in civilian govt” and found at least seven posts carrying the viral claim. It appears here, here, here, here, here and here

It was also shared on Twitter; here, here and here

India media outlets The Economic Times, DNA India and The Munsif Daily also attributed the misleading quote to Khan in their reports.

Conclusion: Posts sharing the quote are misrepresenting Imran Khan’s words. While he did praise India’s foreign policy in his address at the Malakand jalsa on 20 March 2022, he did not make any mention of the Indian army during his speech.

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