On August 27, The Guardian reported that an unprecedented number of people were fleeing from Afghanistan to Pakistan through the official broader crossing after the Taliban’s take over of Afghanistan.
A video of thousands of people running hysterically has now been shared on social media. It is claimed that the video shows the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Facebook page titled ‘Modi Sena‘ with over one lakh followers was among the pages that shared the video.
Several Facebook users have shared the video. It is in fact widespread on the platform.
पाकिस्तानी अधिकारियों ने अफ़ग़ानिस्तान के नागरिकों के लिए पाकिस्तान बॉर्डर खोल दिया उसके बाद का नजारा देखिए
Posted by Jaya Sharma on Tuesday, 31 August 2021
Another Facebook user pointed out that no women or children can be seen running away in the video. He alleged this is a conspiracy by Pakistan and further questioned, “…democracy in Afghanistan has been replaced by Sharia Law. So why can’t Hindus turn so-called democracy into Hindu system?”
Alt News received requests to fact-check the claim on our WhatsApp helpline number (+91 76000 11160).
Alt News performed a reverse image search of the video’s keyframes and found that it is indeed from the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. However, it dates back to April 2020 after Pakistan opened its borders with Afghanistan for a few days. The borders were closed due to rising COVID-19 cases in Afghanistan. Pakistan had made a special temporary arrangement for stranded Afghans to pass.
The viral video was uploaded by UK-based news outlet The Telegraph on April 8, 2020. On the same day, Pakistan-based media outlet The News reported the same.
Below we have compared an identical still from the viral video and The Telegraph’s report.
On April 4, 2020, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted that Afghan nationals wishing to go back to their country were allowed to pass through Torkham and Chaman border crossings.
On #Afghanistan’s special request & on humanitarian considerations,we are allowing exit of 🇦🇫 nationals, wishing to go back to their country,through Torkham & Chaman border crossings on 6-9 April.
We remain in solidarity with our Afghan brethren at this time of global pandemic.
— Spokesperson 🇵🇰 MoFA (@ForeignOfficePk) April 4, 2020
Pakistan-based VOA Deewa had reported that Pakistani officials stated the border will remain open till April 9, 2020.
Hundreds of stranded Afghans rushed towards the Afghan side of Torkhum border on Tuesday after Pakistan temporarily opened its border with Afghanistan.Pakistani official say the border will remain open till April 9. pic.twitter.com/5fhVZer5Gv
— VOA DEEWA (@voadeewa) April 7, 2020
Last year, the video was shared with the false claim that Afghans were entering Pakistan without COVID-19 screening. This was debunked by AFP.
To sum it up, the viral video isn’t linked to Afghans fleeing to Pakistan after the Taliban’s takeover. The video is from last year after COVID-19 restrictions were lifted by the Pakistani government at the request of the Afghanistan government. Afghanistan nationals were entering their country from Pakistan.
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