This video does not show PTI’s Haqeeqi Azadi March

2017 clip of massive LA traffic jam wrongly shared as Imran Khan’s rally towards Rawalpindi

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Claim: A video shows a massive traffic jam amid Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief and former prime minister Imran Khan’s Haqeeqi Azadi March towards Rawalpindi.

Fact: The video, which was actually taken over five years ago on 22 November 2017, shows the Interstate 405 in California blocked as Americans travelled ahead of Thanksgiving.

On 26 November 2022, Instagram user @zaidullahzaad posted a video showing the aerial view of a massive traffic jam and claimed it was from Imran Khan’s ‘Haqeeqi Azadi March’ as it made its way towards Rawalpindi.

The clip, depicting right-hand traffic on a road with a flyover crossing it perpendicularly, was captioned as follows:

“Rawalpindi drone camere ka manazar #haqeeqiazadimarch [Drone camera view of Rawalpindi].”

The clip was also shared by former interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed.

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check decided to investigate the video as Pakistan has a left-hand traffic system, meaning that the vehicles in the country are right-hand drives.

Reverse image-searching screenshots from the video led us to conclude that the video was, in fact, first posted by ABC News’ verified Twitter account at 6:50 am on 22 November 2017.

This was further confirmed by a Daily Mail article, published on the same day, titled, “Incredible bumper-to-bumper traffic in LA looks even worse than usual as the great Thanksgiving exodus begins with 51MILLION Americans traveling on the holidays – the highest in 12 years.”

We then used Google Lens to identify the route as Interstate 405, a highway in California, United States.

Virality

Former interior minister Sheikh Rashid had shared the video on Twitter, where it was viewed more than 695,000 times. It was also shared here and here.

On Facebook, the clip was posted here.

Pakistani television host and YouTuber Imran Riaz Khan — who has a verified Twitter account — also tweeted the video but deleted it later. Khan has previously shared misleading images as well.

Conclusion: The video has nothing to do with Imran Khan’s Haqeeqi Azadi March. It was, in fact, taken over five years ago on 22 November 2017 and shows the blocked Interstate 405 in California as Americans travelled ahead of Thanksgiving.

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