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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.

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.


The tweet by Twitter user @rjs32826722 gained 941 views, 47 likes and 14 retweets.

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

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