Fact-check: Notification from Islamabad police, barring hotels from hosting PTI, is fake

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police Operations in Islamabad says the notification was not authentic

Several media organisations and social media posts shared a misleading claim this week that the Islamabad police had directed hotels in the federal capital to not host participants of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Long March.

Claim

Multiple posts appeared on social media, on October 28, when Imran Khan’s PTI kicked off its week-long march from Lahore to Islamabad, to force the government to call an early election.

Accounts on social media posted a notification, purportedly from the Islamabad police, according to which owners and managers of hotels were “strictly ordered to not accommodate any person coming for the long march.” It further added that hotels and guest houses would be checked every day to ensure there was no violation of the order.

The notification is dated October 28.

“Movement is a fundamental right,” wrote one Twitter user, while sharing the notification.

Other accounts also picked up the alleged notification, which later made its way to several news channels as well.

Fact

Geo Fact Check reached out to nearly a dozen hotels and guest houses in Islamabad. All of them confirmed that they have received no such notification or even verbal orders from the federal capital’s police.

Luxury hotels, Serena and Marriott, in the capital told Geo Fact Check they have not received any such directions from any authority. Nauman Farooq, the executive at reservations at Marriott, said: “The hotel is open for everyone.”

Amna Haider, the manager at Atlas Hotel, said that she had only seen the alleged notification on TV. “We have not received such a notification from the police, nor have we received any call from the police about not giving residency to the participants of PTI’s Long March.”

The senior staff at the Envoy Continental Hotel, Hotel Bin Naveed, Islamabad Inn, Islamabad Premier Inn, Babri Hotel, Hotel Al-Habib and the Sunway Hotel also told Geo Fact Check no such orders have been conveyed to them by the police.

Geo Fact Check then reached out to Sohail Zafar Chattha, the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police Operations in Islamabad. He said the notification was not authentic. “It is fake”, he wrote back.

He further added that the capital police did not issue any instructions to hotels in Islamabad either.

Geo Fact Check further contacted the police station in Islamabad’s Industrial Area, which has been named in the notification.

Akhtar Shah, the head constable at the station, said that hotels were verbally told not to let “suspicious people” stay on their premises. “Such as people who are thieves or robbers,” Shah added, “We never said anything about the long march.”


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