Screengrab suggesting Saudi Crown Prince refused to meet Sharifs is doctored
The two leaders recently met as per Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb
Claim: A screengrab of a television show suggests that the authorities in Saudi Arabia and Prince Mohammed Bin Salman have turned down former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s request for a meeting during his recent visit to the kingdom.
Fact: The screengrab is doctored. Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb tweeted on 21 April 2023 that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chief and his daughter Maryam Nawaz met the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during a recent visit.
Fact or Fiction?
On 19 April 2023, Twitter user @waqas_amjaad shared a screengrab of a television show claiming that it suggests that the authorities in Saudi Arabia and Prince Mohammed Bin Salman have turned down former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s request for a meeting.
“یہ کونسا شاہی دورہ ہے؟؟
سعودی شہزادے نے شریف خاندان سے ملنے سے انکار کر دیا.. [Which royal visit is this?? The Saudi prince refused to meet the Sharif family..Which royal visit is this?? The Saudi prince refused to meet the Sharif family..],” the tweet reads.
The former premier, along with his daughter Maryam Nawaz and other family members, travelled to the kingdom on 11 April to perform Umrah.
To investigate the claim, Soch Fact Check cropped the first half of the viral image and used reverse image search tools, which led us to an article by the Daily Mail published on 21 September 2018 which carries a similar photo. “Making history: Weam Al Dakheel, right, became the first woman to co-anchor the main evening news bulletin on Saudi Arabia’s state-run TV channel,” the outlet captioned the photo.
A similar photo was also shared by Arab News on Facebook on the same date with the caption, “Weam Al-Dakheel has become the first woman to anchor the main evening news bulletin on Saudi Arabia’s main national TV station.”
A comparison graphic is below:
It appears that the screenshot is doctored.
Furthermore, we could not find Al Saudiya (Saudia TV) reporting on the Saudi royal family turning down Sharif’s request to meet him and his family.
We found a YouTube clip by the Pakistani news channel GNN posted on 17 April 2023. It is titled, “MBS Refused To Meet Nawaz Sharif | Establishment in Pressure | Haroon Ur Rasheed.”
At the 2.45 time stamp, analyst Haroon Rasheed can be heard saying that so far Sharif’s family’s efforts to meet the Saudi royal family have been unsuccessful.
For the second half of the image, Soch Fact Check found another screenshot on social media and ascertained that the text on the screen says “The pressure on MBS”. We searched YouTube with the same keywords and found a video by FRANCE 24 English’s official account posted on 7 December 2018. The thumbnail of the video titled “The pressure on MBS: Washington pushes Saudi Arabia over Yemen, oil prices” is the same as the viral screenshot. Hence, we concluded that the viral screenshot is doctored.
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb, however, said in a tweet on 21 April that Sharif and Maryam met the Saudi crown prince.
She said that the two leaders discussed further strengthening brotherly relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and discussed solutions to the problems being faced by Pakistan.
Conclusion: The viral screengrab is doctored to make it look like Al Saudiya, a Saudi news and entertainment TV channel, reported that the Saudi crown prince refused to meet Nawaz Sharif. Pakistan’s information minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said via a tweet on 21 April that the two leaders met during the ex-premier’s recent trip to Saudi Arabia.
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