Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
HomeFact checkVideo Of Traffic Jam In Pakistan’s Kaghan Valley Shared As ‘Tourists Returning...

Video Of Traffic Jam In Pakistan’s Kaghan Valley Shared As ‘Tourists Returning From Himachal Pradesh’s Kinnaur’

Around the time nine people lost their lives to a landslip in Himachal Pradesh’s Kinnaur district, online users shared a video with captions stating that tourists have started returning from the mountain state. The video shows a massive traffic jam of vehicles on what looks like a mountain. 

One such user shared this 24-second video with a caption that reads, “The bevy of Indians tourists returning back from #Kinnaur. As their shit has hit the fan (rumbling boulders), sudden premature awakening has since ascended on them. Else they would have continued to loiter there endlessly.  #HimachalPradesh #Himachal”

Another user’s caption read, “Tourists returning from #HimachalPradeshLandslide #HimachalPradesh #HimachalLandSlide #Himachal #Kinnaur”

Another similar post shared earlier this week (now deleted) garnered over 550 likes and 200 retweets. An archived version of the post can be viewed here

Twitter post with viral video claiming 'Tourists Returning From Himachal Pradesh’s Kinnaur’
Twitter post with viral video claiming ‘Tourists Returning From Himachal Pradesh’s Kinnaur’

According to Crowdtangle, a Facebook page that shared this claim with the video garnered around 14.8K views in total at the time of writing this fact-check. 

Facebook post with viral video claiming 'Tourists Returning From Himachal Pradesh’s Kinnaur’
Facebook post with viral video claiming ‘Tourists Returning From Himachal Pradesh’s Kinnaur’

Bharat Times and 14TV Telugu also shared this claim with the video on their Facebook pages. 

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Fact Check / Verification

Through reverse image search of keyframes from the video, we found that the viral video is not from Himachal Pradesh’s Kinnaur. The video showing a massive traffic jam of vehicles is in fact from Pakistan. 

Dawn, Pakistan’s daily newspaper reported that the viral video is from Kaghan valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Mansehra district. Published on 25 July, Dawn’s report reads, “Tourists have flocked to the Kaghan valley of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Mansehra district in record numbers this Eidul Azha, with hundreds of thousands of vehicles choking the roads and causing traffic jams in the scenic tourist site, it emerged on Sunday.” 

District Police Officer Asif Bahadur told Dawn.com that “we have welcomed tourists in around 0.7 million vehicles to this picturesque valley and the influx of nature lovers is still on its peak even on the fifth day of the holiday.” 

Screenshot of Dawn's report on tourists flocking to Kaghan Valley
Screenshot of Dawn’s report on tourists flocking to Kaghan Valley

A Google Earth view of Mansehra-Naran-Jalkhad road shows the same bent curve on the mountain as seen in the viral video. 

Google Earth View of Mansehra-Naran-Jalkhad road in Pakistan
Google Earth View of Mansehra-Naran-Jalkhad road in Pakistan

Other media organisations in Pakistan also reported about the record number of tourists flocking to Kaghan Valley with similar visuals. 

Screenshot of 24Digital's report on 'tourists in trouble at Kaghan Valley'
Screenshot of 24Digital’s report on ‘tourists in trouble at Kaghan Valley’

Additionally, Himachal Pradesh Police has also clarified that the viral video is not from their state. Their post reads, “A fake post is doing rounds in social media wherein videos & pictures are being circulated showing massive traffic jam in HP. The facts have been checked & verified. None of these videos & pictures belong to Himachal Pradesh.”

This claim was previously debunked in our Hindi and Punjabi fact-checks.

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Conclusion

The viral video showing a massive traffic jam on a mountain is not from Himachal Pradesh’s Kinnaur district. It is in fact from Pakistan’s Kaghan valley where tourists flocked to the tourist destination on the weekend of 25 July. 

Result: Misleading 

Our Sources

Dawn: https://www.dawn.com/news/1636868

Google Earth View: https://earth.google.com/web/search/Mansehra-Naran-Jalkhad+road/@34.72242695,73.56931016,1657.70426229a,1171.83717313d,35y,-88.76991322h,45.00204661t,0r/data=CigiJgokCW6UAzQEsDdAEW6UAzQEsDfAGZmdgpwSmUpAIZadgpwSmUrA

Thenews.com.pk: https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/868894-influx-of-tourists-in-kaghan-valley-triggers-fuel-shortage-in-area

24NewsHD: https://www.24newshd.tv/25-Jul-2021/thousands-of-tourists-in-trouble-at-kaghan-valley

Himachal Pradesh Police:  https://twitter.com/himachalpolice/status/1419643327780057089?s=20


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Nikita Vashisth
Nikita is a writer and editor for English fact-checking. She also leads projects to understand the misinformation and fake-news ecosystem—with an emphasis on data and psychology. Previously, she has worked with IndiaSpend, CNN-News18 and written for Citizen Matters and Mongabay-India on the environment, health, and politics. She’s a postgraduate of the Computational Journalism program at Cardiff University, Wales.

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