Pakistan human rights minister was not only person wearing mask in cropped photo

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A photo of Pakistan's Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari is circulating in social media posts claiming she was the only person wearing a face mask at a meeting with the Taliban foreign minister. The claim is misleading; while most delegates in the photo are not wearing masks, the original image has been cropped to remove a member of the Afghan delegation and people in the background who were wearing face coverings.

"Pakistan Human Rights Minister @ShireenMazari1 was the only one with a full mask on face during a meeting with Taliban’s Foreign Minister Ameer Khan Muttaqi," reads a tweet posted on November 13.

The photo shows Pakistan's Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari and various other delegates posing for a photo. Mazari appears to be the only person in the photo with a mask covering her nose and mouth.

Screenshot of a tweet sharing the misleading claim, taken on November 18, 2021.

Screenshots of the tweet sharing the photo also circulated on Facebook here, here, here and here.

However, the claim is misleading.

A reverse image search found a wider version of the photo published on November 13 in a report by Pakistani newspaper The Nation.

"The Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser yesterday held a meeting with visiting Acting Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Amir Khan Muttaqi to discuss matters relating to mutual interest," The Nation reported.

The wider photo shows a man wearing a face mask who has been cropped out of the photo shared on social media.

Several people in the background wearing masks have also been removed from the picture.

Screenshot comparing the cropped image (left) and the original (right) taken on November 18, 2021.

Mazari also tweeted the wider version of the photo on November 14.

Pakistan's Covid-19 response body issued guidelines on the mandatory use of face masks for public gatherings in December 2020.

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