Screenshot of an X post sharing the false claim, taken on February 22, 2024

A senior politician from the party of Pakistan’s ex-prime minister Imran Khan has rejected rumours circulating online that he was hospitalised after a gun attack days after losing his seat in the country’s recent elections. Taimur Saleem Khan Jhagra posted on February 14, 2024 that he was “fine” and “at home”. A police spokesperson in Peshawar — Jhagra’s home and constituency — said they had not received any reports about a gun attack on a politician.

“Ex-finance minister Taimur Khan was taken to hospital with injuries due to a gun attack. May God bless,” reads an X post shared on February 14 by an account with more than 200,000 followers.

Jhagra, who was previously a provincial finance and health minister, is senior vice president of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led by former prime minister Imran Khan. 

Khan has been languishing in jail since August, slapped with lengthy sentences for corruption, treason and an illegal marriage — charges he says are politically motivated and designed to keep him from power.

PTI was barred from campaigning in Pakistan’s February 8 election, with leaders rounded up and candidates forced to run as independents.

Jhagra lost his Peshawar seat in the election, which wamarred by deadly violence, mobile phone blackouts and allegations of rigging.

<span>Screenshot of an X post sharing the false claim, taken on February 22, 2024</span><span></div></div></div><div class=
Screenshot of an X post sharing the false claim, taken on February 22, 2024

The false rumour was shared widely on February 14, including by pro-PTI accounts, including here, here and here on X and here, here and here on Facebook.

Jhagra refuted the rumours in a post that day at 10:51pm local time (1751 GMT) on his official X account (archived link).

“I am fine and at home, by the grace of God. Kindly don’t spread rumours,” he wrote in Urdu.

The next day, he posted a video in which he spoke — apparently uninjured — about allegations of rigging in the election (archived link).

A police official in Peshawar — Jhagra’s home and constituency — confirmed the rumours were baseless.

“No such incident has taken place. No report of any gun attack against any politician was reported to us,” he told AFP on February 20.

The army-backed Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had settled days of negotiations on securing a majority to form a coalition government that will also include several smaller parties, after the February 8 polls returned no clear winner.

AFP has previously debunked false claims about the elections in Pakistan here, here and here.  

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