Fact-check: CDA chairman announces support for Nawaz Sharif?
Updated Tuesday Jan 02 2024
A video spread across social media purports to show the head of the government-run Capital Development Authority (CDA) announcing his support for former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, ahead of the 2024 parliamentary election in Pakistan.
The claim is misleading.
An over two-minute clip posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, on December 23 shows a man introducing himself as an employee of the CDA.
In the video, he says that he has decided to help Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-N win the 2024 polls.
While a caption posted along with the video reads: “Sitting in his government office, the head of the Capital Development Authority has announced his support for Nawaz Sharif.”
While the man seen in the video is not the chairman of the CDA, the government department in charge of providing municipal services in Pakistan’s capital city, he is employed by the Authority.
Abeera Dilawar, a deputy director in CDA, told Geo Fact Check over the phone that the man in the footage is Akhtar Mehmood, a private secretary to the director of the emergency and disaster management department of the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad.
In fact, the chairman of CDA is Captain (r) Anwar-ul-Haq. His picture and additional information are publicly available on the CDA’s official website.
The Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) was established under Islamabad’s local government law. Both CDA and MCI are tasked with infrastructure development and improvement of Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad.
The CDA spokesperson added that Mehmood was an employee of both the CDA and MCI and the video was recorded in a sub-office of the CDA.
“He [Mehmood] is an employee of CDA [as well],” Dilawar said, “But these are his personal views.”
After the video went viral, an inquiry was initiated against Mehmood on December 26, for violating the Employees Service Regulation 1998, which restrains government servants from taking part in political activities and elections during service, state official documents seen by Geo Fact Check.
Another senior official of CDA, who chose to remain anonymous, also confirmed that the man in the video was Akhtar Mehmood, an employee of the CDA and MCI, not its chairman.
With additional reporting by Saman Amjad.
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