Fact Check: COAS was not behind bullet proof glass in meeting with UIema


The Claim:

Some social media accounts, allegedly linked to a political party known for its recent criticism of the military, are claiming that the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Syed Asim Munir stood behind a bullet proof glass during his meeting with Islamic scholars in the GHQ

The Fact:

The image does not show any glass, bullet proof or otherwise, in front of COAS General Asim Munir. In fact there is a glass shelf in front of him, in the design of a table top glass.

All Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) has also issued a press release denying the existence of any glass barrier. PUC Chief Maulana Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi has released a video statement for the same. The PUC statement said that during the Jummah prayer break as well as at the end of the meeting, the COAS met with the attending scholars individually and discussed matters of mutual interest with them as well.

Maulana Ashrafi in his statement said that it is tragic that some people are spreading false and ill-intended claims that there was bullet proof glass between the army chief and the scholars. He said, “If such a defamatory campaign had been carried out from outside Pakistan to harm our country, it might have made sense but our own people spreading such lies is just tragic”.

The Story:

On Friday, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Syed Asim Munir met with the leading Islamic scholars of all schools of thought at General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi.

The COAS strongly expressed that the use of force and armed action by any militia, entity or group other than the state was unacceptable. In return, the Islamic scholars unanimously condemned extremism, terrorism and sectarianism and pledged their continued support for the untiring efforts of state and security forces to bring tolerance, peace and stability to the country.

However, soon after some social media accounts started claiming that the COAS was behind a bullet proof glass during the meeting. One of the photographs, in which the COAS can be seen saluting the attendees, has been widely shared on social media platforms, including X, formerly Twitter, with claims that the army chief seems to be behind a glass.

The Spread:

The post has garnered a variety of reactions. Examples of the comments and quotes can be seen here, here, here, here, here and here.

The Verdict:

It can be clearly seen in the image that the glass visible at the bottom of the picture is a table-top and no other glass can be seen in front of the COAS General Asim Munir.

Add to this the clarifications that have come from the PUC and from Maulana Ashrafi, and it can be safely concluded that the claims of ‘bullet proof glass’ are not true.

All such claims on social media can be safely categorised as false.

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