Fake photo: Ghani, Abdullah supporters clash on social media
False - September 18, 2019

Fake photo: Ghani, Abdullah supporters clash on social media

KABUL (Pajhwok): Supporters of presidential candidates, Ashraf Ghani and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, traded barbs on social media over a photoshoped photo of the current president watching his rival on a television channel.
Ghani and Abdullah were expected to have a live debate on Ariana Television on Monday evening, but Ghani at the last minute refused to participate in the discussion.

As the program started, host Nasir Fayaz, said the obvious “Ashraf Ghani did not show up and only Abdullah would respond his questions.”
The television said Ghani accepted to participate in the debate until the last moments as his team members were already also present there.
Wrong information

After Ghani refused to participate in the debate and Abdullah was responding to the host’s questions in the TV studio, supporters of Abdullah published on social media a forged photo of Ghani watching Abdullah on the TV channel,.

The photoshoped photo shows Ghani and his team members watching together Ariana TV debate program. The face of one of the individuals watching the program is masked so people do not know the photo is old.

Wrong information

After Ghani refused to participate in the debate and Abdullah was responding to the host’s questions in the TV studio, supporters of Abdullah published on social media a forged photo of Ghani watching Abdullah on the TV channel,.

The photoshoped photo shows Ghani and his team members watching together Ariana TV debate program. The face of one of the individuals watching the program is masked so people do not know the photo is old.

Correct information

Later, supporters of Ashraf Ghani found the original photo and published it on Facebook pages. The masked person was former National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar, who is watching a football match with others.

The match was in India in 2016 between Afghan and Indian athletes. Supporters of Abdullah and Ghani published both versions of the photo and criticized each other.

پر یوه فوټو شاپ شوي عکس د عبدالله او غني د پلويانو ناندرۍ

Faridon Khwazon, a spokesman for Abdullah, in a Facebook post said, “The evaders escape while the man of the ground always stays.”

A member of Ghani’s team, Shah Hussain Murtazavi, in a Facebook post ahead the TV program said that Abdullah would escape from the debate, but when Ghani nixed the debate, he removed the post.

In another post, Murtazavi said, “Don’t get serious that much, the game is drawn, Abdullah escaped a debate in last presidential election and Ghani did so now.”

Supporters of Ghani in several Facebook posts said that Abdullah had avoided two debates, one hosted by Shamshad TV and another by Tolo TV in 2014 election while Ghani participated in both of them.

A member of Ghani’s electoral team, Khushal Khalil, in a Facebook post said “One thing becomes clear that people love debates, if not today, it will be tomorrow, there is still much time for the election and two debates are possible.”

However, a member of Abdullah’s electoral team wrote on Facebook, “There is a quote that says men proudly win or accept defeat, he escaped from debate today and will escape from the country tomorrow, I wish he was present in the debate so the public would have known who is right and who is wrong.”

Ashraf Ghani team in a statement last night said the public had witnessed the performance of both Ghani and Abdullah’s teams and they could judge based on that.

“People were waiting Abdullah would explain his programs but they heard other things, he talks in such programs on other issues rather than on contents, he does not observe campaign rules and talks on personal things more, that was the reason Ghani’s team did not participate,” the statement reads.

However, Abdullah criticized Ghani during the TV program and said Ghani should have come to the program and answered to the public.

“We had no elected president, Ghani became president because of me,” he said.

Abdullah said that Ghani could not face him in the debate and he would not be able to win the election too.

About Ghani team’s statements, he said, “If I accuse Ghani, he also can talk and accuse me, but he chose to escape.”

“Those who he likes, he builds offices for them but those who he does not like, he removes them along with their offices,” Abdullah said while referring to Ghani.

He said that Ghani released Nizamuddin Qaisari in order to attain his support during election despite taking assurances from the former spy chief not to release him.

About good governance in future, he said that empowering the country’s foundations and removing parallel administrations could improve good governance.

He once again said he would give up his presidency and candidacy if it could bring peace to Afghanistan.

On the other hand, Amrullah Saleh, Ghani’s first vice-presidential candidate, said that not participating in the debate was a right decision of Ghani.

“People watched Abdullah last night, he only complained and had no plans, he could have explained his own programs instead of blaming Ghani, but he lost the chance,” he said.

Saleh said opinion polls showed 70 percent of people supported Ghani and only 30 percent supported the rest and Abdullah could compete with other candidates.

Javid Ghafor, spokesman for Ghani, said that some electoral tickets, particularly Abdullah’s team, accused others and had no plans for the country.

He said Abdullah last night talked as a complainer instead of following a healthy competition.

However, Faridon Khwazon, spokesman of Abdullah, said that they had complete programs and a copy of the programs was given to Ariana TV.

Result of fact check

Pajhwok Afghan News assesses presidential candidates’ promises and explains how much they are executable or in what category, (good, fair, a little good, a little not good and not good), they are placed.

Javed Hamim Kakar

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