A video of Pakistani commentator Zaid Hamid’s remarks during an ARY News broadcast has surfaced on social media after the Taliban took over Afghanistan. He can be heard saying, “Danish, if you truly ask me, I pray to Allah that the Americans withdraw from [Afghanistan], and leave the Indians there; it has been a long time since we massacred Hindus in Afghanistan. Historically, it was always like that, and that is why the mountains in Afghanistan are called ‘Hindu Kush.’ ‘Hindu Kush’ means a place where Hindus are to be beheaded, a place that kills Hindus. Historically, whenever Hindus entered Afghanistan, they were butchered there. We pray to Allah that the US withdraws from Afghanistan, and leaves the Bania [Hindu community of merchants] in their place. The things we would do to the Bania in Afghanistan would make them refrain from looking toward Afghanistan and Pakistan for thousands of years.”

Twitter handle @pakistan_untold tweeted the video claiming it showed Pakistan’s plans for Hindus after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

TV9 Bharatvarsh news anchor Shubankar Mishra shared the video with the exact text. He did not specify the date of the ARY News broadcast.

The video is widespread on Twitter and Facebook alike.

Alt News has also received verification requests for the video on its WhatsApp helpline number (76000 11160) and mobile application.

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Media outlet Newstracklive has penned an article on the video without verifying the date of the broadcast.

Video from 2013

Incidentally, Twitter handle @pakistan_untold had also shared the video last year. This itself proves that Zaid Hamid did not make the statements after the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan.

A keyword search took us to links from December 14, 2013 that shared the video. However, the video has been taken down from YouTube for violating the platform’s rules on hate speech.

However, we did find a copy of the video [a section of Pakistan-based ARY News broadcast] uploaded in 2014.

Transcription of the complete statement given by Hamid was found on the website mimri.org. The excerpt in the first paragraph of this fact-check report has been taken from this website. The transcription was published in 2014. The website says that the broadcast dates back to August 11, 2013. Zaid Hamid spoke about how Pakistan should treat India’s presence in Afghanistan after the US troop withdrawal planned by the end of 2014.

Former US president Barack Obama had ordered the US military to make plans to fully pull out American troops from Afghanistan by 2014. Obama’s plan was subsequently withdrawn but the number of troops was reduced. It was further truncated by the next president Donald Trump. Last year, before Trump was voted out, the US signed a deal with the Taliban which said that the US would withdraw all troops within 14 months if the Taliban does not allow Al-Qaeda or any other extremist group to operate in areas under the Taliban’s control. The complete withdrawal of US troops finally took place during the first presidential term of Joe Biden.

Now coming back to Zaid Hamid’s speech. While the Pakistani commentator’s remarks were not recent, Hamid is routinely criticised for xenophobia and hate speech against non-Muslim faiths. He has taken an anti-India stand several times in the past and his Twitter account is also withheld in the country. Hamid had claimed that the 2001 Parliamentary attack convict Ajmal Kasab was an Indian Hindu. (Note: For those who wish to see the hyperlinked tweet, use Tor browser). Hamid is known to spew vitriol against the Hindu community through hate speech and disinformation. Alt News has penned several articles on him before his account was withheld.

Several Pakistanis had condemned Hamid’s statements back in 2013.

A provocative speech against Hindus by Zaid Hamid in 2013 has been shared against the backdrop of the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan.

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About the Author

Pooja Chaudhuri is a senior editor at Alt News.