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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

How channels, info minister and journalists propelled fake news about Junaid Safdar

LAHORE: Mainstream media channels including state-run broadcaster and Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry who proposed the Pakistan Media Development Authority bill, spawned fake news about the son of PMLN Vice President Maryam Nawaz.

As documents relating to the offshore companies of world leaders, politicians, and billionaires surfaced under ICIJ’s Pandora Papers on Sunday, Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Special Assistant Shahbaz Gill shared the screen grabs on official handle claiming offshore companies of deposed PM Nawaz Sharif’s grandson.

Two of the Pakistani journalists of local daily who are part of this mega probe, Umar Cheema and Fakhar Durrani, made it clear that they had no such information about the news.

The whole episode was debunked by a number of journalists who slammed government officials to run fake news against the rival party members, but TV host and analyst Mansoor Ali Khan on his YouTube channel exposed all aspects of the gaffe that made headlines and was doing rounds on social media.

Khan sharing the undiscussed aspects behind Minister’s source said a Twitter handle named Pandora Leaks, which has now been disabled from the microblogging platform, was created by the ruling party’s supporters with an impression that it was created by the probe team members.

The fake account shared a number of tweets claiming offshore companies of Junaid Safdar, and family members.

Delving into details, Mansoor further mentioned that another tweet from the same account stated that they tried to look into the assets of incumbent PM Imran, on Pakistani probe member’s tipoff, who was earlier related to the case with Zaman park residence, but they failed to find any of the things that were discussed on mainstream channels.

It further commended PM Imran’s decision to probe all members listed in the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which has been investigating international finance and tax havens, has released a detailed list of public figures with offshore companies called the ‘Pandora Papers’ as part of their new investigation.

PTV Journalist Aoun Sahi also responded on screen grab doing rounds on social media, he refuted the claims of news being run on the state-owned TV “PTV hasn’t run the story. It’s photoshopped ma’am”, he wrote on Twitter.

The fake news chapter also irked Maryam Nawaz who took to Twitter saying if the TV channel that ran the news does not apologize right away, she will file a defamation lawsuit in Pakistan and in Britain.

Junaid Safdar himself also announced to take legal action against the media houses that run the fake news. “I don’t own any offshore company and has only one bank account”, he said.


(Editor’s Note: The phrase ‘Fake News’ is not a scientific term. If facts of information are inaccurate it cannot be called news in the first place. It would be categorized as misinformation or disinformation. othernews.pk has opted to use this phrase as the mass searches and prefers the term ‘Fake News.’)

Owners of GEO, Dawn, Express among Pakistani media moguls named in Pandora Papers

Ali TM
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Ali TM
Ali TM
Ali TM is a Pakistani journalist, writer and an academician. He has reported and edited for various English print media organizations. Currently he is the Editor in Chief of www.othernews.pk.
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