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Saturday November 26, 2022

Fact-check: Shireen Mazari shared CNN article from 2021, not 2022

The CNN article is from last year, dated October 23, 2021, when Mazari's own political party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf was in power

By Web Desk
October 04, 2022
Former human rights minister and senior PTI leader Shireen Mazari. — AFP/File
Former human rights minister and senior PTI leader Shireen Mazari. — AFP/File

As part of PTI’s ongoing smear campaign against  state institutions, a senior leader of the party  and former human rights minister Shireen Mazari shared an old article from CNN on her Twitter handle, suggesting that the Pakistan military chief’s recent visit to the United States was linked to the two countries formalising an agreement to use Pakistan’s airspace.

However, this is not true, as per Geo Fact-Check.

It is pertinent to mention here that Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa is on an official visit to the United States, which was announced by the military’s media wing on its website on October 2.

False claim

On October 3, Shireen Mazari wrote on Twitter: “So there you have it! Why the US engineered regime change conspiracy after then PM IK said ‘absolutely not’ to US bases. Is that why VIP visit right now to US also? Can @OfficialDGISPR throw some light on this?”

In the tweet, the former human rights minister also shared an article by the CNN titled: “US nearing a formal agreement to use Pakistan’s airspace to carry out military operations in Afghanistan.”

The tweet got nearly 500 retweets and 812 likes.

Fact-check: Shireen Mazari shared CNN article from 2021, not 2022

CNN article is from 2021

The CNN article is from last year, dated October 23, 2021, when Mazari's own political party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf was in power.

The CNN report, which was based on anonymous sources, stated that the Biden administration was nearing a formalized agreement with Pakistan to use its airspace to conduct military operations in Afghanistan.

FO had rejected report

Soon after the article was published, last year, the Pakistan Foreign Office denied the report. “No such understanding was in place,” it stated.

The question was also put to the director general of Pakistan military’s media wing in April, to which he replied: “They [Americans] never asked for bases.”

Neither has any news of a formal agreement between the two countries surfaced since October 2021 to date.

Mazari deleted tweet

Mazari later deleted her tweet and then wrote on Twitter that she had shared the 2021 report to ask who the “US was talking to for this agreement when in June 2021 then PM IK has already said ‘absolutely not’ to drone facilities and bases?”

She added that with the “imported govt now in place and their string pullers, will the agreement move forward?”

Fact-check: Shireen Mazari shared CNN article from 2021, not 2022

The PTI leader had also made a similar allegation on September 30, when she tweeted that one part of the “US regime change conspiracy” was that after an “important visit to US we may see us getting bases along with use of air space.” 

Fact-check: Shireen Mazari shared CNN article from 2021, not 2022