Fact-check: Yes, a college in Sialkot made it mandatory for students to attend Imran Khan’s speech

The principal of the college confirms that he issued a notification making it compulsory for students to hear Imran Khan’s talk

A notification shared on social media purports to show the administration of a government college in Sialkot, Punjab, made it compulsory for students to attend a talk by former prime minister Imran Khan.

The claim is true. Students were directed to attend the speech.

Claim

Imran Khan, who is also the chairman of the PTI, addressed college students in Sialkot on October 26.

After the speech, several social media users posted a notification alleging that the Directorate of Public Instruction (DPI) Punjab had ordered Government Jinnah Islamia Graduate College, Sialkot, to ensure that students hear Khan speak.

The DPI is a state organisation tasked with overlooking the administrative and financial matters of government colleges in Punjab.

The notification being shared is dated October 25. It reads: “Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan will deliver a speech at the ground of Government Murray College Sialkot tomorrow on Wednesday (26-10-2022) at 11:30am. Staff participation along with students is mandatory.”

The note is signed by the principal of Government Jinnah Islamia Graduate College, on the orders of the DPI.

One Twitter user tweeted that since Imran Khan had to speak, all staff including students were told to be present at 11am on the orders of DPI Colleges Punjab.

Another Twitter account wrote that a government educational institute was “forcing their staff to attend PTI jalsas within government space meant for education. This opportunist party will never learn.”

Fact

Professor Mujahid Hussain Bukhari, the principal at the Government Jinnah Islamia College, confirmed to Geo Fact Check that he did indeed issue a notification making it mandatory for students to hear Khan’s talk.

“The DPI called a meeting on October 24 of principals [of colleges] from the whole district of Sialkot,” Professor Bukhari said, “The notification you have is correct.”

The principal added that they were told that Imran Khan will be speaking and if students want to attend they should. “My signatures are on the notification, which was issued in light of the DPI meeting,” he added.

A professor of the Government Jinnah Islamia College, who asked not to be named, also confirmed that the college had issued a notification to the staff to ensure that students attend.

However, Dr Ashiq Hussain, the director at DPI, continues to deny that any such notification has been issued. 

“There is no such order,” he told Geo Fact Check, “The students participated out of their own will.”


— With additional reporting by Geo’s Umar Ijaz.

Follow us on @GeoFactCheck. If our readers detect any errors, we encourage them to contact us at [email protected]