Fact-Check: News Of Assault On Nawaz Sharif Turns Out To Be Fake

Fact-Check: News Of Assault On Nawaz Sharif Turns Out To Be Fake
Reports by various media outlets about an assault on former premier and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) supremo Nawaz Sharif at a café in central London on Saturday night have turned out to be false.

Geo News, a private news channel, had reported in its news tickers that Nawaz had been attacked in the heart of London.

Later, Geo News London-based reporter Murtaza Ali Shah reported that it was fake news and that nothing like that happened to Nawaz.

What happened was that in the midst of a rally outside the cafe where Nawaz Sharif was sitting, the police and protesters got into a heated argument and Nawaz Sharif's vehicle was hit with coffee that the demonstrators had thrown at the police.

The protest demonstration was staged by Black Lives Matter (BLM) activists to promote their rights.

One of the BLM protesters hurled coffee at Nawaz Sharif's car, which was parked nearby, amid a confrontation with the police. This happened when the police were apprehending an activist.

The video shows a man being led away by police while donning a white hazmat suit and brandishing signs reading "Black Lives Matter."

Soon after the incident, PMLN leader Khurram Butt tweeted that PTI supporters had attacked the former premier, leading to the news of the attack on Nawaz Sharif spreading.

"The car of Mian Nawaz Sharif was assaulted this evening by PTI thugs. No harm has been done to Nawaz Sharif. Alhamdulillah. The assailant has been detained and is in police custody," Khurram Butt posted on Twitter.

This irresponsible reporting has left a huge question mark over the credibility and fact-checking mechanisms at Geo News and other major news outlets too.

The fake news could have triggered a reaction from the party workers.

It seems that in a bid to air the news before others, the news channel didn’t bother to verify the facts from its own reporter.

What our news outlets need to realize is that while this breaking news culture drives ratings and revenues, in the long term their own credibility is its biggest casualty.