Videos and posts circulating on social media platform X on Friday quoted foreign media outlets as reporting that the PTI had won over 150 seats in the general elections. No proof was found, however, for such reports having been aired.
On February 9, 2023, an X user, who appears to be a PTI supporter based on their profile history, shared a post with the video of a foreign journalist, captioned: “The international media has reported this news after seeing it with its own eyes […] that PTI has won more than 150 seats. Spread this news as widely as possible.”
The post garnered over 300,000 views and was shared 18,000 times. The official X account of PTI Lahore also shared the same claim which garnered another 14,000 views.
The iVerify Pakistan platform sought to determine the veracity of the claim since it is directly related to election results, which have already become controversial due to the delay in their announcement.
The video attached to the circulated posts is of Cordelia Lynch, Asia correspondent of British news outlet Sky News. Lynch is one of 37 British journalists issued visas to cover the general elections.
She posted this video on her official X account on Feb 9 at 12:44pm with the caption: “Fascinating dynamics in the Pakistan elections with Imran Khan’s independents leading. They say it’s a landslide victory. Official results though show a tighter race. There complaints of vote tampering.”
The video’s transcript is reproduced below:
“Well, they say that Pakistan is full of surprises. And this morning, the people of Pakistan are waking up to exactly that. The PTI, the party of Imran Khan, who remains in jail, his candidates forced to run as independents, are claiming what they say is a clear victory.
“But they are also concerned about what they claim is election rigging. Now, behind me, you can see the official results. So far, 53 seats in the National Assembly have been returned. Official results say that the independents are ahead at 18, that the party of Nawaz Sharif, the man that many believe the military wants in power, is at 17, and the Peoples Party of Pakistan, led by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, is at 16.
“So this is all very interesting because people thought it was a foregone conclusion. But the PTI says that there was a big turnout, particularly amongst youth, amongst women, and that they came out in their droves to support Imran Khan, who won’t be able to lead the party, who remains behind bars. And yet you’re seeing this groundswell of enthusiasm now.
“What does it mean for an actual result? Well, potentially, we could be looking by the end of the day at a hung parliament. I think what this board behind us does show is that Sharif is very unlikely to get a clear majority.
“But lots of complaints coming in here to the election commission about tampering with results, about the slowness in which they’ve come in. We would expect to have seen many more by this time in the morning, and yet we haven’t. So, lots to play for, (and) fascinating dynamics here. And Khan still appears to have maintained that popularity.”
Notably, at no point Lynch claim that the PTI had won 150 seats. In fact, according to her voiceover, this particular report was aired when the results of only 53 National Assembly had come in on the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) official results portal.
As of now, the provisional results of 253 out of 266 NA seats have been announced by the ECP, with independent candidates in the lead with 100 seats, followed by the PML-N and the PPP with 71 and 54 seats, respectively.
According to Dawn.com, of the 99 independent winning candidates, 92 are PTI-backed. Meanwhile, the PTI claims to have won 170 seats as per the tally of Form 45s — statement of count shared with polling agents and candidates present at polling stations — they have collected from across the country.
The iVerify Pakistan team has determined that the claim regarding foreign media reporting a PTI win over 150 seats is false. The attached video presented as evidence for the claim did not report any such thing or even mention the number.
This fact check has been published in partnership with iVerify Pakistan — a project of CEJ and UNDP