This is not an authentic photo of Imran Khan with his mother

Image of Imran Khan has been doctored into a different picture


Claim: A photograph shows Imran Khan sitting at the feet of his mother, Shaukat Khanum.

Fact: The photograph is doctored; in reality, it only shows Shaukat Khanum.

On 8 September 2023, the Facebook user ‘Irfan Gul Arzi’ posted a picture (archive) claiming to show Imran Khan — the former prime minister and chief of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) — sitting at the feet of his mother, Shaukat Khanum.

Khan can be seen wearing a pakol, which is a soft, rolled-up cap made of thick, warm fabric that is commonly worn by men in Afghanistan and northern Pakistan.

The post is captioned as follows:

“عظیم ماں 🥰.
کا  عظیم الشان بیٹا 🔥
اللہ تعالی ہر ماں کو ایسا بیٹانصیب کرے آمین یارب العالمین 🙏 ❣️ 💯
[A great son of a great mother
May God bless every mother with such a son, Amen]”

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check observed evidence that the image has been morphed since it has glaring remnants of a doctoring process.

Khan’s crude yet sharp outline, his disproportionate face in comparison to the woman behind him, the woman’s hair visible behind the turban on the right side of her head, the doctored moustache, and separate postures of the two figures, among other errors, indicate that the image has been morphed.

Soch Fact Check cropped out Khan from the image and, using reverse image search tools, ascertained that the original photo does not show him sitting in front of a woman but with two gun-toting men, apparently Afghan mujahideen fighters from the Soviet War.

We found the full image on Instagram account @i.kfx here (archive), with the caption, “@imrankhan.pti with Afghan freedom fighters, 1980.”

The picture, as well as its cropped versions, appear here, here, here, and here, as well as on Express Tribune here and here and the Iranian website EghtesadNews.

The man seen on the left side is also visible beside him in other pictures from the same time period, such as the ones here, here, and here.

Page 189 of a PDF version of Khan’s biography, “Pakistan: A Personal History,” available on Sani Panhwar — a website that offers digital versions of important books “for educational and research purpose[s] only” — carries an image from that time as well.

Furthermore, when we looked up images of Shaukat Khanum, we found the original image posted here on Imran Khan’s verified Instagram account on 8 March 2021.

We have made a visual for our readers’ ease of understanding below:

The photograph is also available on the Imran Khan Cancer Appeal website.


Soch Fact Check conducted a CrowdTangle analysis for the period from 1 August 2023 to 11 September using the search term “عظیم ماں کا عظیم الشان بیٹا اللہ تعالی ہر ماں کو ایسا بیٹانصیب کرے آمین یارب العالمین”.

We found more than 450 posts on Facebook that gained over 81,000 interactions. One of the most viral posts was this one; some others can be found here, here, here, here, and here.

On X, formerly Twitter, we found two posts here (archive) and here (archive), which were viewed more than 30,200 and 174,300 times, respectively.

Conclusion: The photograph is doctored; in reality, it shows Shaukat Khanum sitting on her own.

Background image in cover photo: @ImranKhanOfficial

To submit an appeal on our fact-check, please send an email to

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