Several images are being shared on social media with a claim that they show ‘a civil war like situation in Pakistan’s Karachi’. However, we found that the images being shared are not only old but some of them are not even from Karachi.
However, it has been reported that a controversy has broken out in Pakistan after an Inspector General of Police (IGP) was allegedly forced into ordering the arrest of Captain (retd) Safdar Awan, the husband of Maryam Nawaz Sharif, for chanting slogans at the tomb of the country's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah in Karachi.
The images are being shared with the claim that heavy clashes were seen outside Karachi governor house. The users also claimed that tanks are rolling on the streets of Karachi.
Another set of images are being circulated to show the condition of the city after “overnight civil war.”
The images found their way to Facebook as well with social media users sharing them with the same claim.
The Quint received a query on the claim being made in one of the images on its WhatsApp tipline.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We found that none of the images show the current situation in Pakistan’s Karachi and all of them are old images. Let’s take a look at them one by one:
A Google reverse search led us to a CNN article published in 2016 which mentioned that the image is from eastern Aleppo. The image had been credited to Getty Images.
We found that the image was indeed uploaded on Getty Images with the caption: “Syrian pro-government forces patrol Aleppo's eastern al-Salihin neighbourhood on 12 December 2016 after troops retook the area from rebel fighters.”
Clearly, not only is the image old, it is not even from Pakistan but Aleppo.
We found that an article published in China Daily in 2006 carried the viral image and credited it to Reuters. The article mentioned that the image is from Karachi bomb blast that took place in 2006.
Further, a Reuters photographer had captured this image on 2 March 2006 and the agency had uploaded the image with the caption: “Smoke billows from burning vehicles after a bomb blast in Karachi, Pakistan 2 March 2006. Two blasts in quick succession killed at least two people outside a Marriott hotel in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi on Thursday, police and security officials said. (sic)”
While this image is from Karachi, it is not a recent image but an old one from 2006.
A Google reverse image search led us to a CNN article published in 2009 that carried the viral image with the title: ‘Death toll rises in Karachi suicide attack’.
This image, too, was uploaded on Getty Images in 2009 with a part of the caption stating: “Pakistani security officials inspect the bomb blast site after the explosion during the religious procession in Karachi on 28 December 2009.”
Again, an old image from Karachi was passed off to show the current situation.
An article published in Independent had used the viral image in 2013 and mentioned that it was from a car bomb blast that took place in Pakistan’s Peshawar.
A CNN article on the same incident had credited the image to Associated Press.
News agency AP had indeed uploaded the image in 2013 with a part of the caption stating: “Injured Pakistani men are carried away from the site of a blast shortly after a car explosion in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, 29 September 2013.”
Evidently, this image, too is old and not from Karachi but Peshawar in Pakistan.
A Google reverse image search led us to an article published by Pakistan-based news outlet Samaa TV that mentioned that the image is from 2009 Ashura blast.
Further, we also found that a similar image from the said incident was uploaded by AP as well mentioning that the incident took place in 2009. We compared the AP image with the viral image and found several similarities.
News agency AP mentioned that the image is from a footage that was released by Karachi Police in 2009 when an explosion “caused by a suicide bomber ripped through a crowd of Shiite Muslims marching through the streets of Karachi, Pakistan, marking the key holy day of Ashura.”
Clearly, even this image is not a recent image but from 2009.
While several news reports claimed that there are ongoing tensions in Pakistan, the images in circulation are old and do not show the current situation in anyway.