Fact check: Former National Assembly speaker Illahi Bux Soomro is alive

Published January 26, 2024
A photo of former National Assembly speaker Illahi Bux Soomro. — APP
A photo of former National Assembly speaker Illahi Bux Soomro. — APP

Several media outlets on Thursday ran reports about the death of former National Assembly speaker Illahi Bux Soomro. According to a member of Soomro’s family, the reports are false.

Soomro is a prominent political figure who served as the National Assembly speaker from 1997 to 2001.

According to fact-checking platform iVerify Pakistan, state-run APP published a report titled “PM condoles over demise or [sic] ex-NA Speaker Elahi Bux Soomro”.

Dunya News published a news report on its website with the title “Former NA speaker Elahi Bakhsh Soomro passes away”.

Similar reports were also published by GNN and UrduPoint.

However, a member of Soomro’s family reached out to the platform’s media partner Dawn and confirmed that the reports were incorrect and the ex-NA speaker was alive.

The iVerify platform further found that some media outlets, such as Samaa News, Business Recorder and state-run Radio Pakistan, which had initially published the news, had taken down their stories.

Performing a keyword search for these outlets with Soomro’s full name showed links and stories about Soomro’s death but clicking on the links showed empty pages.

 <em>Samaa News’</em> broken link to the story
Samaa News’ broken link to the story

 <em>Radio Pakistan’s</em> broken link to the story
Radio Pakistan’s broken link to the story

 <em>Business Recorder’s</em> broken link to the story
Business Recorder’s broken link to the story

The iVerify Pakistan platform thus concluded that news of Soomro’s passing as run by numerous media outlets, including state-run agencies, was false.


This fact check has been published in partnership with iVerify Pakistan — a project of CEJ and UNDP.

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