Clipped video shared to claim Nawaz Sharif boycotted the 2024 Pakistan general elections

By: Rahul Adhikari
February 9 2024

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Clipped video shared to claim Nawaz Sharif boycotted the 2024 Pakistan general elections

Social media posts claim former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif boycotted the 2024 elections. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

This video of the former prime minister is from 2007 but was peddled as a recent election boycott.

Claim ID 3f900aa1

What is the claim?

Just a day before the 2024 general elections in Pakistan, a 16-second video featuring former Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif was circulated claiming he has called for boycotting the elections. The video was initially posted from a parody account named PMLN Official on X (formerly Twitter). The post's caption read that the Muslim League-N party boycotted the election on February 7 in an emergency press conference. The post garnered more than 245,000 views and 4,400 likes. 

This post was reposted by several other users, all making the same claim. Resharing the post, one user wrote, “🚨PML-N SUPREMO NAWAZ SHARIF HAS CALLED FOR THE BOYCOTT OF 2024 GENERAL ELECTIONS.” This post gained over 47,000 views and more than 680 likes. Archive versions of the viral post and similar posts can be accessed here, here, and here.

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

However, we found that the viral clip is old. A video of Sharif announcing a boycott of elections in 2007 was clipped and falsely shared as recent.

What did we find?

On conducting a reverse image search of keyframes from the viral clip, we found that news agency Associated Press (AP) published a longer version of the video on their AP Archive YouTube channel on July 21, 2015. The video is titled, "Opposition leaders announce they will boycott January elections." The viral clip has been taken from the 0:43 to 0:57 time stamp of the YouTube video. On comparing the videos, we could confirm that they are identical.

The same video was published on AP’s website on December 9, 2007, with the same title as mentioned above. The description of the video suggests that it was captured on November 30, 2007.

Screenshot of the video uploaded on the Associated Press website in 2007/ (Source: Associated Press)

According to a news report by The Guardian dated December 4, 2007, Sharif was barred from contesting the January elections due to criminal charges dating back to the 1999 coup. He then called for an election boycott but later ended the short boycott after meeting with another opposition leader Benazir Bhutto. Together, they formulated a list of demands.

There were no official announcements from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) regarding boycotting of the elections. We reviewed PMLN’s official X and Facebook accounts; no such announcement was found. Also, according to the latest reports dated February 9, Sharif won the NA-130 Lahore constituency but faced defeat in the NA-15 Mansehra constituency. This further confirmed that the claim in the viral post is false. 

Logically Facts has recently debunked similar false claims about the boycott of the 2024 Pakistan elections involving other political leaders from Pakistan. 

The verdict

An old video of Sharif announcing a boycott of elections in 2007 was peddled as recent during the 2024 elections. The former prime minister and his party, the PMLN, contested in the February 8 elections, and Sharif won from one of the constituencies. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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