OPERATED BY CEJ

False

FACT-CHECKED

by CEJ |

IHC Justice Babar Sattar has not been applauded by the TTP

On June 12, 2024, posts circulating on social media showed a statement allegedly from the TTP praising Justice Babar Sattar for his June 11 verdict about telecom companies. However, the TTP confirmed the statement was fake.

Claim

TTP applauds IHC Justice Babar Sattar

Rating Justification

The iVerify Pakistan team has reviewed this content and determined that it is false.

To arrive at this verdict, the iVerify Pakistan team corroborated the viral letter with the banned militant Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) outfit.

Multiple posts circulating a purported TTP statement on social media on June 12 claimed that it praised and applauded Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Babar Sattar for his decisions while hearing the audio leaks case. However, the viral statement is fake.

Former prime minister and PTI founder Imran Khan’s wife Bushra Bibi and Najam Saqib, son of former chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar, had filed petitions in September 2023 against allegedly leaked audios of their private conversations.

In a May 29 hearing on the case, Justice Sattar in his day’s order had ruled that no state official was authorised to surveil citizens and anyone doing so or aiding such an endeavour would be liable for offences, barred the police and intelligence agencies from surveilling citizens and also stopped telecom companies from authorising their services to be used for such surveillance activities.

HOW IT STARTED

On June 12, an account on social media platform X, Eagle Eye, which regularly posts about the military, warfare and addition, in addition to being followed by several journalists and media figures, including Gharidah Farooqi and Reham Khan, posted an alleged press release from the TTP in tribute to Justice Sattar.

The caption for the post said: “Banned TTP has welcomed the order of Judge Babar Sattar and paid tribute to him,” and the post itself gained over 23,000 views.

The content of the purported TTP statement is reproduced in full below:

“Kudos to Babar Sattar for his brave stance. Today, on June 11, 2024, a brave and courageous Pakistani Judge Babar Sattar issued a very important and historic order prohibiting mobile companies from providing any information to apostates and other agencies. This is a very welcome move on which the movement pays tribute to Babar Sattar.

The apostate army, police, and other cruel and insidious government agencies of Pakistan are misusing the same information to martyr true Muslims and mujahideen like us. Babar Sattar is undoubtedly a brave and courageous person whose services will always be remembered by TTP and we stand by him in the coming times.

God willing, when the mujahideen and fighters of TTP, who are warm-hearted and full of Islamic spirit, crush the tyrants imposed on the dear country, defeat their obsolete system, and become victorious in establishing an Islamic system, then Babar Sattar, regardless of your personal life, you will be remembered as the soul of the justice system of TTP.”

The statement was also shared here, here and here.

Writer and columnist Shama Junejo, who frequently posts in support of the PML-N, also shared the statement. Her post gained over 5,000 views.

The statement with the same caption as Junejo’s was also shared by a PML-N supporter.

METHODOLOGY

The fact check was initiated due to its virality and because the purported statement linked a sitting IHC judge with a banned terrorist outfit.

An immediate factual error that could be ascertained in the statement, which raised questions about its authenticity, is that it referred to a June 11 order or decision by Justice Sattar. However, there was no such hearing in the audio leaks case on that date.

The decisions he did make that were referred to in the purported statement about preventing telecom companies from allowing their services or equipment to be used for surveillance were actually from a May 29 hearing.

Subsequently, Dawn reporter Tahir Khan was contacted to reach out to the TTP for corroboration who in turn sent the following image:

The TTP branded the viral statement as being fake.

Abdul Sayed, a Sweden-based researcher who tracks the TTP, also confirmed the same in an X post on June 12.

“A statement appeared on social media regarding Judge Babar Sattar attributed to TTP, which appears to be fake for a few reasons. First, such statements are usually issued by their spokesman Muhammad Khorasani, while this statement is attributed to Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud. Second, these statements are issued from their official social media channels, where no such statement exists,” he said.

FACT-CHECK STATUS: FALSE

The claim regarding an alleged TTP statement praising Justice Sattar for his June 11 verdict is false.

The militant outfit itself confirmed that the statement is fake, which was confirmed by an independent expert as well. Furthermore, the statement also contains a major factual error about the actual date of court hearing when the judge gave his order about telecom companies.

Evidence and References

June 12, 2024, Abdul Sayed X post:
https://x.com/abdsayedd/status/1800890413466653039

May 30, 2024, Dawn.com report:
https://www.dawn.com/news/1836404