The government has not announced a three-day public holiday across Pakistan

The announcement applies only to Islamabad due to the OIC Conference

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Claim: The Government of Pakistan has announced a three-day public holiday across the country.

Fact: The government did announce a three-day holiday from 22 March to 24 March 2022 but in Islamabad only, in connection with the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers meeting. 

Fact or Fiction?

On 10 March 2022, Express News Urdu shared an image on Facebook which contains text that claims the government has announced a three-day public holiday. 

The page shared the post with the headline, “حکومت کا تین دن عام تعطیل کا اعلان [Government announces public holiday for three days]. 

The link in the caption leads to an article on Express News’ website. While the image makes no mention of Islamabad, the article and its headline, حکومت کا اسلام آباد میں تین دن عام تعطیل کا اعلان [Government announces three-day public holiday in Islamabad], do note that the holiday announcement only applies to the capital. 

Some other pages also carried the story with a misleading headline, including here and here.

Soch Fact Check found the claim to be misleading. The government announced a three-day holiday in Islamabad — not across the country — for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Foreign Ministers Conference which is to be held in Islamabad from March 22 to 24.

The above notwithstanding, the Cabinet Division earlier declared 23 March 2022 a designated holiday on account of Pakistan Day.

Virality

According to a CrowdTangle analysis conducted by Soch Fact Check, the search term “حکومت کا عام تعطیل کا اعلان” turned up 123 posts on Facebook which received a total of 2,858 interactions over the seven days leading up to 15 March 2022.

Among the verified pages on Facebook that shared the misleading news, Express News’ post received 3,700 likes and 64 shares, Hassan Nisar’s post received 71 likes and one share and SUCH TV’s post received 69 likes and three shares.

Multiple other pages also shared the claim including here, here, here, here, here, here and here, between 9 and 10 March 2022. 

Most Facebook pages used the same headline, “ایک ساتھ تین چھٹیاں!! حکومت نے 22،23 اور 24 مارچ کو عام تعطیل کا اعلان کر دیا  [Three holidays together! Government announced public holidays on 22, 23 and 24 March]” and thumbnail image in their posts — the image features Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid.

Conclusion: The government has not announced a three-day public holiday from 22 – 24 March across the country. The holiday announcement applies only to Islamabad due to the OIC Foreign Ministers Conference scheduled to be held in the federal capital on those dates.

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