Did Pakistan descend into civil war? Have Sindhis revolted against Islamabad? Were there pitched battles on the streets of Karachi?

If you followed some prominent handles on social media as well as mainstream news media from India, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this was indeed the case.

BJP spokesperson Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga also pushed this.

Fake news

There was, of course, nothing of the sort. Here’s Micheal Kugalman, a South Asia expert from the Wilson Center in the United State’s clearing the air.

The fake news was based on an incident in Pakistan where Opposition leader and former prime minister Nawax Sharif’s son-in-law was arrested in Karachi on Monday, allegedly at the behest of the Pakistan Army. In protest, many senior officials of the Sindh Police had gone on leave.

Reacting with humour

Soon, however, Pakistani accounts started to mock the fake news that Karachi had become a war zone as a civil war between Sindhi and federal forces rocked the city. Much of this took the form of pushing highly exaggerated, fictional account of the “civil war”.

Screenshots from popular video game GTA used as part of the satire