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Satirical post about Russia oil cargo linked to Imran Khan passed off as real news

Several people fell for the report despite ‘satire’ label

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Claim: A cargo ship carrying Russian oil has refused to unload its consignment until Imran Khan “personally comes to receive it”.

Fact: The report is satire.

On 2 April 2023, Twitter user @drfatima_pti posted a visual (archive) showing former prime minister and chief of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Imran Khan, against a backdrop of cargo ships, along with the following text at the bottom:

“Russian Oil cargo refuses to unload until former Pak PM Imran Khan personally comes to receive it.”

On 11 June, “a ship carrying the equivalent of about 330,000 barrels of Russian crude oil docked at the port of Karachi”, Nikkei Asia reported (archive) on 16 June 2023.

According to a 14 June report by Foreign Policy (archive), the shipment is the first as part of an April deal between Russia and Pakistan, as cooperation between the two countries grows stronger. Oil, according to the publication, “was already on the agenda” when former PM Imran Khan was in Moscow the day Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022.

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check found a green-and-white logo — with the text “Standup Pakistan” — on the top-left corner of the image, as well as the words “Satire” on the top-right corner.

We searched for “Standup Pakistan” on social media platforms and found the visual on the Facebook (archive), Twitter (archive), and Instagram (archive) pages of “Standup Pakistan”.

“Standup Pakistan” is categorised itself as ‘Satire/Parody’ page on Facebook and Instagram, with the following descriptions in its bios:

  • Facebook: “Pakistan’s 1st regular unactive [sic] satire news platform.”
  • Twitter: “Hear from Us stories not told on Dekhlo, ParhLo, L’Pharhlo, siasatdotpk, south asia index and Startup Pakistan! (Media wing of Pakistani-Satire-humour)”
  • Instagram: “The weirder you’re going to behave, the more normal you should look. It works in reverse, too.”

It is, therefore, clear that the visual is satire and not an authentic report.

Virality

The tweet (archive) by @drfatima_pti has been viewed more than 2,500 times and received over 50 comments, 30 retweets, and 80 likes. The user doubled down (archive) on their claim, writing, “Media nahi dikha rha esi news [The media is not showing such news].”

@drfatima_pti is the second account (archive) of Dr Fatima Khan, an ardent supporter of Khan’s PTI party who earlier had a Twitter Blue verified account with over 170,000 followers. This is not the first time this user has tweeted dubious claims; Soch Fact Check previously investigated another false post by them here.

The claim has also been shared here, here, and here on Facebook.

Conclusion: The report is satire.


Background image in cover photo: Jens Rademacher


To submit an appeal on our fact-check, please send an email to appeals@sochfactcheck.com

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