Doctored video shows people chanting ‘You’re a thief’ at PM Shahbaz Sharif

Sharif visited a Ramzan bazaar in Lahore

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Claim: A viral video shows people chanting “You’re a thief!” at Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif during his visit to a Ramzan bazaar in Lahore.

Fact: No one chanted “You’re a thief” during Sharif’s visit; the chants have been edited into the video.

On 24 April 2022, Twitter user @DrErfanOmar tweeted a video showing PM Sharif on a visit to a Ramzan bazaar in Lahore, with people in the background apparently chanting, “You’re a thief,” as he walked by. The caption accompanying the clip included the following hashtags: #MarchAgainstImportedGovt #امپورٹڈ_حکومت_نامنظور #Imported_Hakoomat_Namanzoor #LeakedVideo

The hashtags refer to Twitter trends against Sharif’s government, which took power following the ouster of former prime minister Imran Khan, who has claimed there was “foreign interference” in his removal from office.

Soch Fact Check has previously debunked claims pertaining to Imran Khan’s ouster, including that a well known Pakistani jurist wrote a note on social media defending Imran Khan, that an anchor cried in support of Khan, that a video shows a rally in the US for Khan, that US President Joe Biden celebrated the successful no-confidence motion against Khan, that Khan’s message to the nation following his ouster was displayed on the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, that Russia organised anti-US protests in support of Khan, and that former defence minister Pervaiz Khattak abused journalists in Parliament.

Fact or fiction?

The video in question appeared at 9:40 PM on 24 April 2022 on Twitter user @ArifRetd’s profile before @DrErfanOmar posted it at 9:57 PM the same day.

Soch Fact Check found that the same video but without the altered audio was posted at 4:42 PM on 24 April 2022 by Twitter user @abubakarumer and at 4:52 PM the same day by @HabibKianiPMLN. In that clip, no chants containing the word “thief” can be heard in the background.

A TikTok account, @vote_ko_izat_do, also posted the video of Sharif’s trip to the Lahore bazaar.

Another clip posted by national public broadcaster Radio Pakistan also shows Sharif interacting with people during his visit, but no “thief” chants can be heard in it. A news report by SAMAA TV uploaded on YouTube also confirms the same.

In addition, @FactCheckerMoIB — the official Twitter account of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry’s fact-checking page — also flagged the misleading, doctored video.

Virality

Soch Fact Check conducted a CrowdTangle analysis for the period from 23 April 2022 to the date of publication of this article using the following search terms:

  • “رمضان بازار لاہور میں کرائم منسٹر شوباز شریف کو شوبازیاں دکھانا مہنگا پڑ گیا
    [At a Ramzan bazaar in Lahore, Crime Minister ‘Shobaz’ Sharif’s antics costed him]”
  • “چور ھے چور ھے کے نعرے
    [Chants of ‘You’re a thief, you’re a thief’]”
  • “اتوار بازار کا وزٹ شہباز شریف کے لئے کچھ خوشگوار نہیں رھا
    [The Sunday Bazaar visit was not pleasant for Shahbaz Sharif]”
  • “چور چور چور کے نعرے لگ گئے سیکورٹی اہلکار پریشان شوباز کی ڈھٹائی چیک کریں
    [Chants of ‘thief, thief, thief’ rang out, security personnel worried, check out the arrogance of ‘Shobaz’]”
  • “LAHORE Ramzan Bazar”

The first search term was the most popular, with close to 1,200 Facebook posts that gained 59,497 interactions. The second, third, fourth, and fifth search terms received 2,667 interactions across 36 posts, 2,463 interactions across 22 posts, 936 interactions across 102 posts, and 1,781 interactions across 21 posts, respectively.

The most popular posts on Facebook in terms of number of views were this, this, this, this, this, this, and this, with over 170,700, 93,500, 48,000, 36,000, 35,000, 33,000, and 29,000 views, respectively. The oldest posts appear to be by ‘میاں وقاص’ at 8:17 PM and by ‘Abid Hussain’ at 8:14 PM, both on 24 April 2022.

On Instagram, the search term “شہباز چور” garnered 6,454 interactions across two posts.

Conclusion: The viral video showing people chanting “You’re a thief!” during Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s visit to a Ramzan bazaar in Lahore is doctored. No such chants can be heard in the original video of the visit.

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