Claim: All Confucius Chinese learning centers have shut down in Pakistan in the wake of the University of Karachi bomb blast in which three Chinese nationals were killed.
Fact: All Confucius Chinese learning centers except the one in NUML are shutting down as most Chinese educators have gone back to China. Remaining classes for the current session have been shifted online.
On May 15, right-wing activist and journalist Orya Maqbool Jan with 477.2K followers on Twitter, shared a tweet claiming that all five Confucius centers in Pakistan are being shut down in the aftermath of the University of Karachi bombing by Shari Baloch. The female suicide bomber targeted three Chinese nationals working at the Confucius Institute of the University of Karachi.
On May 17, The News posted an article quoting Zhang Heqing, the Cultural Counsellor at the Chinese embassy in Islamabad, stating that all centers are operating and that China will continue to increase educational support sent towards Pakistan. After the article in the English daily, social media users started “fact checking” Orya Maqbool Jan, including Naya Daur andUrdu News, using The News’ article to back up their claim that none of the Confucius centers are shutting down.
Team Current decided to verify this widely spread news and we discovered that except for the Confucius center inside National University of Modern Languages (NUML), Islamabad, all other centers – in Lahore, Faisalabad, Karachi and Bahawalpur, are on their way to shutting down for the foreseeable future.
We got in touch with Babar Saleem, the accounts officer at the University of Karachi Confucius center, who confirmed on call that outside these five centers the Chinese government had set up a few classes in PItaro as well. But since all Chinese educators have already gone back to China, the current session in these centers have been changed from in person to online and after the current session ends, all activities at the center have been cancelled.
Verdict: 90% TRUE (since the learning center at NUML will remain open)