Claim: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif posted on X (formerly Twitter) that Pakistan would stipulate its own Citizenship Amendment Act to grant citizenship to persecuted Indian Muslims. This comes in response to India’s CAA, which is “undemocratic and communal,” says his post.

Fact: The screenshot appears to be doctored. Shehbaz Sharif has not made any such post about deciding to notify Pakistan’s own CAA on his official X handle.

On 12 March, X user @RealBababanaras shared a screenshot of a tweet allegedly made by the recently appointed Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shehbaz Sharif. According to the viral post (archive), a post by X user @CMShehbaz on 11 March says:

“To counter Indian government’s undemocratic and communal CAA, the Govt of Pakistan has decided to notify Pakistan’s own CAA, in which Indian Muslims who feel persecuted in India will be given the citizenship of Pakistan.”

Citizenship Amendment Act
The CAA is an amendment to India’s 1955 citizenship legislation, which previously did not make religion the basis for acquiring Indian citizenship. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) pushed it in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of India’s Parliament, in 2019.

It became operational on 11 March 2024.

Apparently granting Indian citizenship to persecuted minorities from Afghanistan, India and Pakistan, the new law has drawn criticism from the Indian opposition and rights groups for excluding Muslims and other groups as it only mentions Buddhists, Jains, Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis and Christians.

“Many other groups in South Asia region such as Rohingya Muslims, Sri Lankan Tamils, Bhutanese, Hazaras, Shias and Ahmadiyyas face exclusion without justification by the discriminatory 2019 amendment,” said Amnesty International.

Fact or Fiction?
Soch Fact Check scoured Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s official X account and found no recent post about the Citizenship Amendment Act.

A WayBack Machine search did not yield snapshots of the prime minister’s 11 March posts, ruling out the possibility of seeing the archives and the possibility that the user deleted them.

However, we found another version of the screenshot, which was not cropped (archived), that shows the prime minister’s post had “53” quoted reposts. We predicted there would also be replies to the alleged post. Advanced X operator (to:@CMShehbaz), first with keywords and then without keywords, did not show any quoted reposts or possible replies. Even if the user deleted the post, X shows a note the post was deleted or the user did not exist anymore. Thus Soch Fact Check ruled out the post was deleted.

An advanced keyword search on X from January 2019 to March 2024 did not yield any posts about a potential CAA from Shehbaz’s official account either.

Furthermore, we scoured the web for reports from credible news organizations but found that none had reported any instances when the prime minister made any official statements or commented on the CAA.

However, through keyword searches on Google, we found that Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said on 14 March that the new CAA regulation discriminated against minority groups based on their faith.

We also found the Pakistan National Assembly resolution from December 2019 that condemned the CAA, saying the “controversial amendment is against international norms of equality and non-discrimination and international human rights Law as it seeks to setup a religious-based criteria for a group of citizenship.”

These are the only official condemnations of the CAA by Pakistan.

Therefore, Soch Fact Check concluded that the screenshot showing the Prime Minister’s statement on the CAA is likely doctored.

The post garnered at least 48,000 views, 421 reposts and 2,100 likes on X (formerly Twitter).
It was shared on Facebook here and here.

Conclusion: A post on X showing the screenshot of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s post about the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is likely doctored.

Background image in cover photo: Geo News

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