Pakistan's caretaker PM and former PM did not confirm Dawood Ibrahim's death on X

By: Rahul Adhikari
December 20 2023

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Pakistan's caretaker PM and former PM did not confirm Dawood Ibrahim's death on X

Social media posts claim that Pakistani leaders posted on X and confirmed Dawood Ibrahim's death. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict Fake

Two fabricated screenshots have been shared to falsely claim that the Pakistan leadership confirmed the death of gangster Dawood Ibrahim.

Claim ID 505b19c0

On December 17, speculation about the death of infamous gangster Dawood Ibrahim surfaced on social media, with rumors suggesting he had been poisoned. This speculation was amplified by a Pakistani YouTuber's video, which drew on unverified social media reports. However, a December 18 report from India Today, citing credible intelligence sources, refuted these rumors.

What is the claim?

Amid these rumors, social media was flooded with screenshots of two posts from X (formerly Twitter), purportedly confirming Ibrahim's death. These posts, allegedly from Pakistan's caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar and former Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, were widely shared.

Kakar's supposed post eulogized Ibrahim, saying, "The Messiah of humanity, dear to every Pakistani heart, our beloved His Excellency Dawood Ibrahim passed away due to poisoned by unknown. He breathed his last in a hospital of Karachi. May Allah grant him the highest position in Jannat. Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un. #Dawood Ibrahim.” One user shared this screenshot on X, gaining over 312,000 views and 677 likes. An archived version of this post can be accessed here.

Sharif’s purported post read, “I condemn the poisoning of His Highness Dawood Ibrahim, a responsible citizen of Pakistan with a kind personality. His contribution towards humanity is unforgettable. It is a time of great sorrow for the entire Pakistan and the people of Pakistan. May Allah grant him forgiveness and may he get a high place in Jannat.” Another user shared a collage of both screenshots on X. An archived version of the post can be accessed here.

Screenshots of the viral posts on X. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, these screenshots were fabricated using digital editing tools; neither Pakistani leader made such statements on social media.

What did we find?

We checked if the Pakistani government, the prime minister, or any other official had confirmed the news of Ibrahim’s death. However, we couldn’t find any reports of Pakistani leadership making such statements.

Further, we were able to compare the posts and found that the formatting of the posts is different from actual X posts. 

Viral post attributed to Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar

We noted that Kakar’s purported X post appeared to be a view on an Android phone. The size of the text, dates, and traction tile are not the same as on X. Furthermore, X posts have straight lines that divide the dateline, traction tile, and comments section. However, the viral screenshot does not have those lines. We compared the viral screenshot with a screenshot of the Android version of an X post from Kakar’s official account and noted the discrepancies.

Further, we also noticed that the spelling of the username in the viral screenshot is different from the username seen on Kakar’s official X account. While Kakar’s real account uses the name ‘anwaar_kakar,’ the username seen in the viral screenshot is ‘anwaar_kakkar,’ with an extra ‘k.’

Comparison between the viral post and an actual X post by Anwaar ul Haq Kakar. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

We also found that the username in the viral screenshot belongs to an X account called Anwaar ul Haq Kakar (Fans). However, we could not find the post in question on this account. We used the social media analytics website Social Blade for this account and found that it has not shared any posts in the last 30 days.

Next, we went through Kakar’s official X account but couldn't find any posts like the one seen in the viral screenshot dated December 18. Kakar shared only one post on December 18, with wishes for the 75th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Norway. He didn’t post anything about Ibrahim’s alleged death. We also checked the archived posts of the X account on Wayback Machine and couldn’t find any such posts. 

Viral post attributed to Shehbaz Sharif

The username in the viral screenshot of Sharif’s purported X post is the same as his original account. Further, the viral screenshot doesn't show the traction or the date of posting. 

However, we checked Sharif’s X account and found that the former PM has shared three posts since December 17, none of which were related to Ibrahim’s alleged death. We also checked Wayback Machine for Sharif’s X account and couldn’t find the viral post in the archives.

Comparison between the viral post and an actual X post shared by Shehbaz Sharif. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

Sharif and Kakar’s account activity

We also used Social Blade to track the activities on the official accounts belonging to Kakar and Sharif. According to Social Blade, Kakar and Sharif haven't deleted any posts on X since December 6. The unverified reports of Ibrahim’s death surfaced on social media on December 17. Since then, no posts have been deleted from any of the accounts. 

In the image below, the (+) and (-) signs under the followers and following columns indicate the number of gained/lost followers and followings respectively. The signs under the ‘Tweets’ column indicate the number of posts made/deleted. We can see that neither Sharif nor Kakar have deleted any posts since December 17.

Analytics of X accounts of Anwaar ul Haq Kakar and Shehbaz Sharif. (Source: Social Blade)

The verdict

The viral X posts attributed to Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar and Shehbaz Sharif regarding Dawood Ibrahim's death are fabrications. Neither the caretaker Prime Minister nor the former Prime Minister of Pakistan confirmed Ibrahim's death on X.

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