Fact-check: Pakistan's PM wears Sikh turban?

November 30, 2019

This photo of Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan at a Sikh ceremony has been doctored

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A photo of Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan has been shared thousands of times in multiple Facebook posts which claim it shows him wearing a yellow Sikh turban at a religious ceremony. The claim is false; the photo of Khan has been doctored to include the turban.

The doctored photo was published on Facebook here on November 9, 2019.

It has since been shared more than 45,000 times. The photo shows Imran Khan sitting next to Navjot Singh Sidhu, an Indian politician who, like Khan, is a former professional cricketer. Both men are shown wearing yellow Sikh turbans.

Below is a screenshot of the misleading Facebook post:

Screenshot of the misleading Facebook post

The post's Urdu-language caption translates to English as: “Wow Mr Niazi wow :( You did not carry the flag of Kashmiris, but wore Sikh's turban.”

Here is an AFP report about the Sikh ceremony that Khan attended.

The caption’s mention of the Kashmiri flag refers to an incident on August 30 in which Khan allegedly declined to hold the flag during a protest in Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital. The rally was held to protest India’s recent move to exert greater control over part of the region. Khan can purportedly be seen here declining to hold the flag in a video published by Indian news channel NewsX.

An AFP report here provides greater detail about the issue.

The same photo was also published on Facebook here, here and here, with a similar claim; and on Twitter here.

The claim is false; a reverse image search on Google found the original photo showed Khan wearing a white headscarf.

The photo was published on Khan’s verified Facebook and Instagram accounts here and here. It was also published on the verified Twitter and Instagram accounts here and here of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.

The photos published on Khan's Facebook page have been embedded below.

Below is a screenshot of PTI’s Tweet:

Below is a comparison of the photo in the misleading posts (L) and the original photo (R):

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