Viral image claiming to be from the official national Independence Day celebration is old
The image was first posted in 2018 and is not related to the national celebration held at the Jinnah Convention Center, Islamabad on 14 August 2022
Claim: An image of a female dancer in front of a portrait of Quaid e Azam is from the official national day celebrations held at the Jinnah Convention Center, Islamabad
Fact: The viral image is from 2018. At the official national celebration this year, the stage was different from the one shown in the photograph in question.
On 15 August 2022, an image of a female dancer went viral, claiming to be from the official National Day celebrations held in Islamabad. Some social media users called the image “vulgar” and against the “norms and culture” of the country since it shows a woman dancing in front of the portrait of Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan.
Several social media users shared this image, calling the dance a “mujra” and condemning the present government for arranging such an event on the National Day of Pakistan.
Fact or Fiction?
The Diamond Jubilee celebration for this year was organized by the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) and the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration at the Jinnah Convention Centre.
Video recordings of the event uploaded on YouTube show that the stage at the official celebration in 2022 is distinctly different from the stage shown in the viral image. Different angles of this year’s stage can also be seen in PTV’s full-length coverage of the event, posted online here.
Moreover, a Google Reverse Image Search made it clear that this image was posted on Facebook as early as 16 October 2018 by a page called پاکستان می د غین سر دی. The image was only shared once. All other results showed that the image went viral only after the 14 August celebrations of 2022.
Soch Fact Check conducted a CrowdTangle analysis for the 2-day period since 14 August 2022 to 16 August 2022 using the following search terms:
- “Mujra” “14” “August”
- “اگست” “14” “مجرہ”
We found several posts being shared on Facebook and on Twitter. The tweet being fact-checked in this article was made by an Advocate of the Supreme Court, Muhammad Azhar Siddique who has 184,800 followers on Twitter. His tweet received 7,401 Twitter interactions and was shared by several Twitter users. Other similar tweets can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here
Renowned journalist Ansar Abbasi also shared a tweet with his 2.3 million followers, criticizing the “mujra” performance which he falsely claims was held this year for Independence Day celebrations. Government of Pakistan’s official Twitter handle also flagged the tweet as fake.
The image also appeared in a video posted on Facebook on 15 August 2022. This video was viewed 572 times. With over 6002 interactions, we found 20 Facebook posts sharing the same image and claiming it to be from this year’s Pakistan Day celebrations. Some examples can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.
Conclusion: A viral image of a solo female dancer falsely claimed to be from this year’s 14 August celebrations held in Islamabad. Soch Fact Check discovered this image to be an old photo posted on Facebook as early as 2018 and that it was completely unrelated to this year’s Pakistan Day celebrations.