Did Pakistan Plan to Surrender Its Nuclear Weapons to IAEA?

A viral video circulated on social media alleging that Pakistan plans to surrender its nuclear weapons to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) under the supervision of newly elected Pakistan Muslim League-N (PMLN) Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mian Shahbaz Sharif. The claim suggests that this plan was discussed during a secret meeting with the Director General of the IAEA, Rafael Mariano Grossi, during his visit to Pakistan. The claim was widely shared by renowned journalists and supporters of opposition party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) supporters.

(Screenshot from X)

The claim gained traction on social media, particularly on X (formerly Twitter) accumulating more than 600K views, the claim was shared here, here, here, and here. On Facebook here, here, and here.

A renowned Pakistani journalist Moeed Pirzada reposted the claim with the following caption, ” Will Hon. DG ISPR will like to comment on the agenda items of the visit & meetings of IAEA Chief in Pakistan? Why it’s not being reported in Pakistani media? Head IAEA is meeting who & who? When such last visit took place? What’s the issue? Are there any concerns by IAEA? @OfficialDGISPR”

This post had more than 258K views while reporting.

(Screenshot from X)

To verify the claim’s accuracy, an extensive fact-checking procedure was undertaken. A reverse image search revealed the shared video dates back to February 16, 2023, amid the visit of Director General International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Mariano Grossi to Pakistan reported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pakistan (MOFA) these meetings focused on further enhancement of cooperation between Pakistan and IAEA in the areas of peaceful applications of nuclear technology specifically its role for mitigating the impacts of climate change.

The Indian media misrepresented the visit of the Director General International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) making baseless claims alleging the surrender of nuclear weapons. After the claim resurfaced almost after a year Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) denied any visits of the IAEA in the year 2024.

(Screenshot from YouTube)
(Screenshot from Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Website)

The viral claim seems to have been shared with the intent to spread misinformation and create fear or concern among the public regarding Pakistan’s nuclear capabilities and government decisions. It may also serve to undermine the credibility of the newly elected PMLN government and its leadership.

The detailed investigation confirms that the claim alleging Pakistan’s plan to surrender its nuclear weapons to the IAEA under Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif is false. The video used to support the claim is from a previous visit by the IAEA Director General and does not indicate any discussions about surrendering nuclear weapons.



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