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Video of Traffic in Pakistan Shared as Tourists Returning From Himachal

We found that while the video was a recent one, it was from Kaghan Valley in Pakistan and not Himachal Pradesh.

Updated
WebQoof
3 min read

Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam

A video showing a long queue of vehicles on a hilly road is being shared with a claim that it shows tourists returning from Himachal Pradesh's Kinnaur following the landslide that took nine lives on Sunday.

However, we found that while the video was a recent one, it was from Kaghan Valley in Pakistan and not Himachal Pradesh. News reports in Pakistan media said that tourists thronged the Kaghan Valley in record numbers on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha.

CLAIM

The caption shared with the viral video read, "Thousand of tourists returning from Himachal Pradesh after the Kinnaur incident."

The same caption was used by many people on Facebook and Twitter.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>An archive of the post can be found <a href="https://perma.cc/HB58-WR37">here</a>.</p></div>

An archive of the post can be found here.

(Photo: Facebook/Screenshot)

Archives of more such posts from Facebook and Twitter can be found here, here, and here.

We also received the video as a query on our WhatsApp tipline.

We also found that the same video was being shared as scenes from the Khandala Ghat in Maharashtra.

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WHAT WE FOUND OUT

Using the InVID WeVerify Google Chrome extension, we extracted keyframes from the video and conducted a reverse image search on some of them.

The search results led us to a news report published in a Pakistan news channel 24 News HD's website on 25 July. The headline of the report said, "Thousands of tourists in trouble at Kaghan Valley."

<div class="paragraphs"><p>An archive of the report can be found <a href="https://archive.is/qWTkk">here</a>.</p></div>

An archive of the report can be found here.

(Photo: News24HD/Screenshot)

We also found some comments under the viral posts that said that the video was from Pakistan. Taking a cue from these, we conducted a keyword search and found reports in other news publications like Dawn, ARY News and Geo TV.

According to the reports, lakhs of tourists flocked the Kaghan valley of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Mansehra district for the Eid-ul-Adha holidays. The report in Dawn said that as many as 7,00,000 vehicles entered the Valley, breaking the previous record of 5,00,000.

In our keyword search, we came across a tweet by a Twitter user called Omar R Quraishi, who posted a similar image of the traffic jam that showed a map of Pakistan on one of the walls.

The viral video and the photo posted by Quraishi had similarities that can be seen this this side-by-side comparison.

Video of Traffic in Pakistan Shared as Tourists Returning From Himachal

(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

We checked Google maps and found the Pakistan flag painted on the road from Naran to Balakot in the Kaghan Valley.

Video of Traffic in Pakistan Shared as Tourists Returning From Himachal

(Photo: Google Maps/Screenshot)

We also found a post from Himachal Pradesh Police debunking the viral video and asking people to not panic.

Notably, massive landslides killed at least nine people and left several others injured in Himachal Pradesh's Kinnaur area on Sunday, 25 July. A video of the incident went viral later in the day.

Evidently, a video of traffic from Pakistan's Kaghan valley was shared with a false claim that it showed tourists returning from Himachal Pradesh's Kinnaur following Sunday's incident.

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(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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