Ex-Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan declares election victory in AI form

  • Ex-Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan declared an election victory for his ex-party in AI form
  • The election result is still pending, though both sides have said they've won
  • This isn't the first time Khan, currently in prison, has appeared as an AI deep fake of himself
Pakistan AI

Imran Khan, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan currently serving time in jail, used AI to say his party won the national election.

Despite being in prison, Khan’s digital avatar conveyed a message of victory to his supporters, stating, “You have laid the foundation for your genuine freedom by voting yesterday.” 

The deep fake video self-labels itself as AI. The translation says, “Chairman Imran Khan’s victory speech (produced by artificial intelligence) after the nation’s historic contest in the elections, which resulted in an unprecedented victory for the Tehreek-e-Insaf in the General Elections 2024.”

Khan’s remarks challenged his political rival, Nawaz Sharif, who declared victory. Khan denounced Sharif as a “dishonorable man” in what has been a bizarre election. 

This is a highly contested and turbulent election. Numerous candidates from Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party had to stand as independents due to the arrest of key party figures and restrictions on their activities.

In the latest update from the election commission, independent candidates are leading the race with 100 seats, while the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) follows with 73 seats. 

Many of these independents are believed to be aligned with Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). The final result is still pending, with nine of the 265 contested seats remaining unconfirmed. 

Gohar Ali Khan, the interim chief of PTI, expressed confidence in forming a government, proclaiming PTI as “by far the largest political party in the National Assembly.” 

Meanwhile, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) asserted that forming a federal government and governments in Punjab and Balochistan provinces would be impossible without PPP’s involvement.

Amid the political developments, NetBlocks reported a nationwide disruption of social media platform X, which the PTI labeled “absolutely shameful.” 

Mohammed Zubair, a member of PMLN, told Al Jazeera that he raised “serious and valid” concerns about the election’s conduct and questioned its transparency. 

The election’s credibility has also been scrutinized by international observers, with the EU, UK, and US expressing concerns over its integrity. 

This AI incident involving Khan follows an earlier event in December 2023, where Khan, despite being imprisoned, addressed his followers through an AI-generated rally. NetBlocks also reported an internet outage then, suggesting suppression of PTI.

Khan’s AI-generated avatar said, “Our party is not allowed to hold public rallies. Our people are being kidnapped and their families are being harassed.” 

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