Indian flag was not raised in Balochistan

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Claim: Pakistani journalist and author claimed that locals hoisted the Indian flag in Balochistan.

Fact: The flag in question is of the Baloch National Party- Mengal; it is not an Indian flag.

On August 15, Tarek Fateh, a Canada-based Pakistani author and journalist tweeted a video of young boys holding and hoisting a three-coloured unofficial flag of Balochistan next to two flags that he claims belong to India. He further said that the video was situated in the streets of a town in Pakistan’s Balochistan province.

The video, which is 2 minutes and 16 seconds long first shows a boy holding up an unofficial flag of Balochistan, after which the camera pans towards the left, where a group of men are circling an electric pole. One of them climbs a ladder, while the others hand over the unofficial flag of the province to him in order for him to raise it on top of the pole. While he is doing that, the video shows two tricoloured flags installed horizontally, half-way up the pole. These are the two flags that Tarek Fateh claims belong to India.

However, one can clearly see that the flags hoisted in the video are not Indian flags. The Indian flag contains three vertical stripes running parallel to one another in the colours orange, white and green. The two flags seen in the video do not contain the white strip, nor do they consist of the wheel, which is commonly represented on India’s official flag.

Soch Fact Check found that the flags hoisted alongside Balochistan’s unofficial flag belong to the Baloch National Party – Mengal, which holds 10 seats in the national assembly. The video was first tweeted by a Baloch activist, Ajmal Baloch, who said that the young men in the video were denouncing Pakistan’s Independence Day by hoisting Balochistan’s own flag due to the state’s strained relationship with this province. While Soch Fact Check cannot conclusively confirm the reason for hoisting the flag, it is clear that an Indian flag was not visible in the video.

Baloch National Party- Mengal flag

Tarek Fatah has a verified Twitter account with 690.4k followers. At the time of publishing, the Tweet in question has been retweeted by 5k accounts and liked by over 20k users. This is not the first time Soch Fact Check has found one of Tarek Fatah’s Tweets to be false. Earlier in the year, he shared a video clip, allegedly showing a woman yelling at a polio worker and refusing to vaccinate her children against the disease. However, the clip is actually a scene from the 2018 movie Load Wedding.

Summary: Journalist and author Tarek Fatah shared a video clip claiming it showed young boys in Balochistan raising the Indian flag. However, this is false. An unofficial flag of Balochistan, as well as the Baloch National Party- Mengal flag, are hoisted in the video.

Research Associate: Ammar Zardari 

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