Rat munching on cake in a meeting is not from Balochistan CS Office

Video shared by multiple media outlets with the claim it is from Pakistan

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Claim: A social media video shows a rat munching on a piece of cake during a meeting at the Chief Secretary’s Office in Balochistan.

Fact: The claim is misleading. The video was first shared in Indian-administrated Kashmir and later went viral with people claiming it was taken in Balochistan, Pakistan.

On 7 December 2022, a video of a rat nibbling on a piece of cake during a meeting started circulating on social media. The Urdu caption of the video translated into English reads, “A mouse is enjoying eating cake in the office of Chief Secretary Balochistan.”

The 26-second video shows an official meeting in Balochistan conducted by the province’s chief secretary as a rodent munches on a piece of cake on the table.

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check searched keyframes of the video through reverse image search tools but found no results. Pakistani media agencies reported conflicting information about the meeting’s location.

A news outlet from across the border, India Today, published a report that states a surgeon based in Indian-administered Kashmir, Dr Arif Khawaja, first shared the clip on Twitter on 5 December 2022.

Dr Kawaja posted the video with the caption “Rat in the meeting”. His post does not mention where the clip was filmed. Soch Fact Check reached out to Dr Khawaja on Twitter, who confirmed that the video is from a meeting held at the Central University of Kashmir.

After the video went viral on social media with false claims, Sajjad Bazaz, a communication specialist, tweeted an article about the incident on 14 December 2022. According to the article published on the newspaper website Greater Kashmir, the rat was spotted while Bazaz was speaking to journalism students during a seminar at the university.

Bazaz wrote, “Precisely, during my interaction with the media students, we spotted a rat roaming around the venue and within no time boarded the dais where the host, who himself is an internationally acknowledged filmmaker and had invited me to the interactive session, was sitting beside me. We didn’t lose time to decide not to interrupt the rat but to capture him munching on the piece of cake.”

He made it clear that the video was from Indian-administered Kashmir and not from Balochistan.

Separately, Muhammed Hamza Shafqaat, Balochistan’s Secretary of Information,  also debunked the claim on Twitter, stating the video is from India.

Soch Fact Check also compared the viral video with other video from Chief Secretary Balochistan’s office, and concluded that the interior of the meeting hall does not match.

Virality

Soch Fact Check conducted a CrowdTangle analysis for the 10-day period from 5 to 15 December using the following search terms:

  • “چیف سیکرٹری بلوچستان چوہا”

The search term received 3,916 interactions across 273 posts on Facebook. The post with the most interactions can be seen here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

On Twitter, the misleading video can be seen here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Conclusion: The video of a rat munching on a piece of cake is not from Balochistan. The video was shot in Indian-administrated Kashmir and falsely attributed to Pakistan.

 

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