Fact-check: CNN article shared by PTI leader is from 2021, not 2022
The CNN article is from last year, dated October 23, 2021, when Shireen Mazari's own political party, PTI was in power.
Updated Tuesday Oct 04 2022
A senior leader of the PTI tweeted an old news report to suggest that the Pakistan military chief’s recent visit to the United States was linked to the two countries formalising an agreement to use Pakistan’s airspace.
The claim is false.
Pakistan’s head of the armed forces, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, is on an official visit to the United States, which was announced by the military’s media wing on its website on October 2.
A day later, on October 3, PTI’s Shireen Mazari wrote: “So there you have it! Why the US engineered regime change conspiracy after then PM IK said ‘absolutely not’ to US bases. Is that why VIP visit right now to US also? Can @OfficialDGISPR throw some light on this?”
In the tweet, the former human rights minister also shared an article by the CNN titled: “US nearing a formal agreement to use Pakistan’s airspace to carry out military operations in Afghanistan.”
The tweet got nearly 500 retweets and 812 likes.
The CNN article is from last year, dated October 23, 2021, when Mazari's own political party, PTI was in power.
The report, which was based on anonymous sources, stated that the Biden administration was nearing a formalised agreement with Pakistan to use its airspace to conduct military operations in Afghanistan.
Soon after the article was published, last year, the Pakistan Foreign Office denied the report. “No such understanding was in place,” it stated.
The question was also put to the director general of Pakistan military’s media wing in April, to which he replied: “They [Americans] never asked for bases.”
Neither has any news of a formal agreement between the two countries surfaced since October 2021 to date.
Mazari later deleted her tweet and then wrote on Twitter that she had shared the 2021 report to ask who the “US was talking to for this agreement when in June 2021 then PM IK has already said ‘absolutely not’ to drone facilities and bases?”
She added that with the “imported govt now in place and their string pullers, will the agreement move forward?”
The former human rights minister made a similar allegation on September 30, when she tweeted that one part of the “US regime change conspiracy” was that after an “important visit to US we may see us getting bases along with use of air space.”
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— Header image: CNN/Screengrab