Photo from Afghanistan shared as people fleeing Pakistan
The photo dates back to October 2020
Claim: A photo shows a huge crowd in Islamabad with some people holding passports and fleeing Pakistan due to the current economic crisis.
Fact: The photo dates back to October 2020 when Afghans queued up in Jalalabad, Afghanistan to collect the tokens needed to apply for Pakistan’s visa.
On 16 February 2023, Twitter user @rjs32826722 shared a photo claiming that it shows a huge crowd gathered in Islamabad, with some people holding passports and fleeing Pakistan amid the current economic crisis.
The Hindi-language tweet translates to the following:
The International Monetary Fund did not give a loan to Pakistan, it will not be able to survive. All those people who have passports are trying to flee the country. This photo from Islamabad shows a stampede as people are trying to get a visa to flee abroad.
IMF ने पाकिस्तान को कर्जा नही दिया तो #Pakistan में खबर गरम है मुल्क नहीं बचेगा अब जिनके भी पास पासपोर्ट है वो सब मुल्क से भागने की फिराक में हैं । विदेश भागने का वीजा लगवाने के लिए भगदड़ मच गई है।वाह मोदीजी क्या दांव खेला है।दिल्ली में बैठके बिना एक भी गोली चलाए पाकिस्तान चित्त pic.twitter.com/ySih5i2V5v
— राजेश "हिंदुस्थानी" (@rjs32826722) February 15, 2023
Fact or Fiction?
To figure out the origin of the photo, Soch Fact Check used Google Reverse Image Search, which led us to an article by Reuters that features the photo, published on 21 October 2020.
The photo is accompanied by the following caption:
“Afghan men wait to collect tokens needed to apply for the Pakistan visa, in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.”
The report stated that at least 15 people were killed in the stampede as thousands of Afghans gathered in an open ground to apply for visas for Pakistan.
Conclusion: The photo is unrelated to the current economic situation. It actually shows people queuing up in October 2020 in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, to collect the tokens needed to apply for a Pakistan visa.
Background image in cover photo: Farid Ershad