Fact check: Viral picture of Imran Khan in Adiala Jail is not from Feb 6

Published February 7, 2024
An allegedly recent picture of PTI founder Imran Khan from Adiala Jail. — Abuzar Salman Niazi X account
An allegedly recent picture of PTI founder Imran Khan from Adiala Jail. — Abuzar Salman Niazi X account

A photo of former prime minister Imran Khan has been circulating on social media platform X (formerly Twitter) since Tuesday, with some claiming it to be taken the same day in Adiala Jail and presenting it as if it was fresh.

An investigation into the picture’s origin has found that it was not from Tuesday, and it was instead taken a few weeks ago.

On Tuesday, former special assistant to the prime minister Shahzad Akbar, who is currently not based in Pakistan, posted an image of former prime minister Imran Khan on social media platform X.

“Breaking: The entirety of Pakistan has long awaited the sight of the chief, held in captivity by the Yazidis for some time. As we approach the elections, here’s a snapshot from Imran Khan’s jail trial a few days back, igniting your passion to cast your vote on February 8th, where you can witness Khan’s unwavering determination,” he said.

Other social media users widely shared the photo, adding that it was from Adiala Jail and snapped on Tuesday.

During its investigation of the claim, the iVerify platform found a tweet by lawyer Abuzar Salman Niazi, who is not only a part of the PTI’s legal team but has also visited Imran in Adiala Jail.

“Just came home and saw hundreds of messages asking details about this picture. Firstly, I have no idea who took this picture.

“Secondly, I remember Khan sahib wearing this long coat with shalwar kameez in a hearing four to five weeks back. It was cipher and Al-Qadir case I think. Around 15 lawyers were in courtroom in Adiala Jail. Rest I have no details,” he said.

Dawn correspondents Umer Burney and Malik Asad, who have been covering the PTI founder’s court hearings in Adiala Jail and have seen him up close, also concurred, saying that while the image was from Adiala Jail, it was not a recent one.

Another Dawn correspondent Tahir Naseer also confirmed that hearings on Imran’s bail applications regarding the May 9 cases against him were due in Adiala Jail on Feb 6 but the date was extended.

The iVerify team concluded that the claim regarding the timing of Imran’s image was misleading. In fact, any image or video of the PTI founder has not been released to the media since he was arrested in August 2023 after his conviction in the Toshakhana case.

“The picture is from Adiala Jail but it is not from Feb 6 as corroborated by Advocate Niazi who dated it from four to five weeks back,” the platform added.

It must be mentioned that on January 30, another image of Imran, showing him sporting a beard, circulated on X. However, it was also doctored. The actual photo dated back to August 2023 and did not show him with a beard.


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

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