Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan is alive and was not injected with toxins to trigger a cardiac arrest

By: Toibah Kirmani
May 17 2023

Share Article: facebook logo twitter logo linkedin logo
Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan is alive and was not injected with toxins to trigger a cardiac arrest


The Verdict False

The image used to claim that Imran Khan was killed is from a 2014 rally organized by Imran Khan's party PTI. The politician is alive and healthy.

Claim ID 9a852da4

Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan was arrested by the country's anti-corruption bureau on May 9, 2023. The arrest sparked widespread outcry and protests throughout the nation with concerns raised about the legality of the arrest. He was released on May 13 after an intervention by the Pakistan Supreme Court. Shortly after his arrest, screenshots of tweets about Imran Khan’s health began doing rounds on social media. One such screenshot showed a now-deleted tweet by Pakistani actor-activist Sehar Sherwani, where she used an image of Imran Khan lying down, surrounded by other people, and claimed that Khan has been “injected with potassium chloride that causes cardiac arrest,” on the “orders of Pakistan Army General Faisal Naseer”. Many Twitter users shared the screenshot of this tweet, claiming that Khan died of an induced cardiac arrest. One such tweet by Twitter user @Indic_God received over 31,000 views. However, this claim is false. 

In Fact:
We conducted an inverse image search on the image of Imran Khan used in the viral tweets, and found relevant images from August 14, 2014. The image of Khan lying down was originally tweeted by him from his personal social media accounts. The image is associated with the Azadi March organized by Imran Khan's political party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), in protest against alleged electoral fraud in the May 2013 general elections.

There are no credible reports or sources indicating that Imran Khan experienced a cardiac arrest after his arrest on May 9, 2023. Naveed Akbar, an Islamabad-based journalist, confirmed Imran Khan's well-being and his active presence on social media since his release on May 11, 2023. Akbar also mentioned that Imran Khan's previous leg injury, sustained during an attempted assassination in November 2022, no longer hinders his mobility.

Pakistan-based freelance journalist and fact-checker Lubna Jerar Naqvi told Logically Facts that the emergence of news regarding the former Prime Minister's cardiac arrest may be due to confusion between two individuals who share a similar name: Imran Riaz Khan, a TV anchor, and former Prime Minister Imran Khan. According to Naqvi, there are unverified reports of TV anchor Imran Riaz Khan being arrested and in critical condition. However, only tweets support these claims. The Lahore High Court heard a plea seeking the whereabouts of journalist Imran Riaz Khan, who is said to be missing. On May 16, the court ordered that Imran Riaz be produced in court as soon as possible. “While the status of Imran Riaz Khan remains uncertain, it is crucial to distinguish between the claims regarding him and the former Prime Minister, as they share a similar name,” Lubna added.

Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan was released from jail after the Supreme Court of Pakistan declared his arrest illegal, and there is no indication of any health issues or complications at present. Therefore, the claim of Imran Khan being injected with potassium chloride and experiencing cardiac arrest lacks credibility and is not supported by any reliable sources or news reports.

The Verdict:
The claim that Imran Khan has been injected with potassium chloride, a toxin causing cardiac arrest by the order of Pakistan Army General Faisal Naseer, is false. The image used in the tweet is from a 2014 rally, and there are no reports of Imran Khan experiencing cardiac arrest. Hence, we rate this claim false.

Would you like to submit a claim to fact-check or contact our editorial team?

Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before