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Yasmin Rashid’s video announcing PTI’s boycott of 2024 elections is AI-generated

Viral video was first shared on X

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Claim: In a viral video, PTI’s Yasmin Rashid announced that the 2024 election in Pakistan is rigged by international forces; PTI has been cornered from all sides, and so she supports Imran Khan’s decision to boycott the 2024 elections.

Fact: The viral video is AI-generated. Dr Yasmin Rashid was indicted in the 9 May arson case on 6 February 2024 and has since been detained and kept under police custody at the Services Hospital. However, she has not boycotted the election and is continuing to contest against Nawaz Sharif from NA-130. 

On 7 February 2024, an X account called ‘PTI Insider’ shared a 25-second video clip with a  claim that Dr Yasmin Rashid has publicly boycotted the election in anticipation of her defeat, and that this shows the cracks within Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) as politicians with free election tickets are all running away.

In the frame of the video clip, an image of Dr Rashid’s face behind bars runs alongside the  clip of her speaking, with the following text:

[Translation: Night of the Election. The biggest video leak, Yasmin Rashid, has announced a boycott of the election. How was this video leaked? The jailer is to be held accountable.]

Fact or Fiction?

In the video, Dr Rashid can be seen wearing a brown dupatta, with unusual movement in her lips and pixelation around her mouth. In the video, Rashid can be heard saying:

[Translation: “We are a peaceful party, and we are facing injustice from every direction. The upcoming elections are being rigged with the help of international forces. All of us support Imran’s decision and we also boycott the 2024 elections. You are all requested to support us.”] 

The clip bears the hallmark of AI-generated video content. Some AI tools, Eleven Labs, allows speech-to-text voice changes based on a limited selection of voice types. This YouTube influencer tests out a few different voices already provided by Eleven Labs. Another tool called Veed.io allows users to clone any voice using an AI Voice Replicator. Seeing the availability of such technology, we can say that a similar tool could have been used to produce a fake video video of  Rashid..

Soch Fact Check also compared the audio in the claim and the audio of this interview conducted with Rashid one year ago. The interview was published on the YouTube channel of journalist Mansoor Ali Khan’s show, Meray Mehman on 5 February 2023. A comparison shows that the two voices are not similar. In this interview, Dr. Rashid speaks in varying pitches and tones, which is different from the way she is speaking in the viral clip. 

In addition to this, PTI voters and workers have been posting online asking for votes for Rashid and campaigning for her throughout the day, as can be seen here, here, here, and here. Mainstream news websites have also reported on Rashid contesting the election in NA-130 against Pakistan Muslim League-N’s Nawaz Sharif.

Dr Yasmin Rashid, the PTI Central Punjab President and former health minister of Punjab, was arrested on 12 May 2023. She was taken into custody at the Services Hospital as she was wanted by the police in connection with three cases. 

Despite a decision by the Lahore High Court to suspend the detention of 17 women, including Rashid, she was rearrested. Due to concerns related to her health,, the police decided to keep  Rashid under their custody at the hospital. As of 8 February 2024, she has been detained for over nine months.

Soch Fact Check also spoke to Azhar Mashwani, one of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) media coordinators who confirmed that the video in question is doctored footage, that Dr Yasmin Rashid did not give this statement and the PTI is contesting the election in every constituency. He also shared PTI leader Hammad Azhar’s video statement published on X here, at 3:42 pm on 8 February 2024.

In this statement, Azhar guides voters to go to the polling station, stay at the camp afterwards, get a signed copy of Form 45 from the presiding officers, and then go to the returning officer later to make sure that the counting is done fairly.

Soch Fact Check has also independently verified the false claim regarding PTI’s boycott of the election here

Virality

The posts shared on X were viewed more than 143,000 times.  It went viral as it was shared by another influencer on X. 

The claim was also shared on Facebook here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Conclusion: Dr Yasmin Rashid has not boycotted the election.

Background image in cover photo: Shutterstock

To appeal against our fact-check, please send an email to appeals@sochfactcheck.com 

 

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