Pakistan is not closing down its consulate in Kandahar

The Pakistan consulate in Kandahar Twitter account got hacked

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Claim: Pakistan is shutting down its consulate in Kandahar, Afghanistan, to protest against the Taliban government. 

Fact: The official Twitter account of the Consulate General of Pakistan, Kandahar, was hacked on 2 December 2022. The hacked account tweeted the false claim that the consulate would shut  down for two days to protest against the Taliban government. 

Various users picked up the false claim to claim that Pakistan is shutting down its consulate in Kandahar.

Fact or Fiction?

On 2 December 2022, the Pakistan embassy in Kabul was attacked. The foreign office strongly condemned the attack but added that operations would continue as normal. According to the foreign office, the main target of the attack was Head of Mission Ubaid Ur Rehman Nizami, who remained unharmed. A security guard was injured in the assault. 

Later the same day, the official Twitter account of the Consulate General in Kandahar was hacked. The hacker tweeted, “Pakistan Govt strongly urges Local Taliban Militia to take strong actions against TTP Militants who have bloods of innocent Pakistanis on their hands & not provide safe heaven in Pashtuns dominated areas. As a mark of Protest @PakinKandahar will remain close for next 2 days.”

“This may be a first step in severing diplomatic ties between Pakistan & Local Taliban Militia government,” read the second tweet. 

Tweet from the hacked Pakistan Consulate in Kandahar Twitter account

The account was shortly recovered by the consulate, who issued an apology for the matter. 

The tweet from the hacked account was exaggerated to say that the consulate will be shutting down, which is not true. The viral claim appeared to be shared mainly by users of Indian origin.

Virality

The claim was primarily shared on Twitter. It was first shared by Indian journalist Aditya Raj Kaul. His tweet received 1,666 likes, 307 retweets and 15 quote tweets. The false claim was also shared here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. The claim was shared on Facebook here, here, and here

Conclusion: The Pakistan Consulate in Kandahar is not shutting down in protest. The Consulate General’s official Twitter account was hacked.

 

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