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This Photo Of Pakistan's PM Speaking To An Empty Room At The UN Is Fake

It was actually former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper who spoke to a mostly empty room.

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This photo allegedly showing Pakistan's prime minister speaking to an empty room at the United Nations is making the rounds online. It's a fake.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addressed the UN General Assembly on Thursday, one of many world leaders speaking this week at the opening of a new session. But this is not what it looked like.

In fact, it's a doctored version of an image of former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's speech to the General Assembly in 2014.


Harper was mocked at the time for his poorly-attended speech, but he is by no means an outlier. Many nations' leaders see a lot of empty chair staring back at them as other countries' delegations prepare their own remarks outside the chamber.

Similar criticism was thrown at Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he addressed the General Assembly in 2014.


In that case, it was mostly Pakistanis and critics of India who pointed out the empty seats.

Ishmael N. Daro is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto. PGP fingerprint: 5A1D 9099 3497 DA4B

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at

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