Video from Indian-administered Kashmir does not show man 'grieving after Pakistan suicide attack'

  • This article is more than one year old.
  • Published on March 8, 2022 at 10:34
  • 3 min read
  • By Wasi MIRZA, AFP Pakistan
After a deadly suicide attack struck the Pakistani city of Peshawar on March 4, a video circulated in social media posts that said it showed a man grieving for his son killed in the blast. However, the video, viewed thousands of times, has previously circulated in reports from January 2021 about demonstrations against killings by security forces in Indian-administered Kashmir.

"This man lost his son in the blast in Peshawar. May Allah grant him the strength necessary to shoulder this great burden. Amen #PeshawarBlast #Peshawarbleedsagain," reads an Urdu-language Facebook post from March 5.

The video, viewed more than 13,000 times, shows a man shouting as a crowd tries to restrain him. "I just want to die!" he says in Urdu.

Text superimposed on the footage reads: "He lost his only son in Peshawar Blast".

Screenshot of the false post taken on March 7, 2022.

A suicide attack at a mosque in Peshawar on March 4 left more than 60 people dead.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, in which a bomber detonated a suicide vest in the building crowded with people moments before Friday prayers were due to start.

Peshawar -- just 50 kilometres from the porous border with Afghanistan -- was a frequent target of militants in the early 2010s but security has greatly improved in recent years.

The video was shared alongside a similar claim on Facebook here, here, here and here; and on Twitter here, here, here and here.

However, the video has been shared in a false context.

A reverse image search found a longer video featuring the same man posted on Twitter on January 4, 2021 by Basit Zargar, a journalist based in Indian-administered Kashmir.

"Parents of Ather Mushtaq who was killed in an alleged fake encounter demand body to be handed over to them," the tweet reads.

In the longer video, the man can be heard asking authorities to return the body of his deceased son.

"Don't the people of India listen?" he says. "I just want my son, my 16-year-old son."

Below is a screenshot comparison of a scene shown in the video in the false post (left) with the video posted by Zargar (right).

Screenshot comparison. ( AFP / )

According to reports by Indian media outlets Hindustan Times and Outlook India, bereaved family members staged a protest on January 4, 2021 following the killing of teenagers by security forces in Indian-administered Kashmir's Srinagar city.

Outlook India's report reads in part: "Mushtaq Ahmad, whose 16-year-old son Athar Mushtaq was among the killed, said he has lost everything. 'Bury me also along with my child. I have nothing in my life now. I don’t need anything. Return the body of my child and that is it'".

Other videos of the protest showing similar scenes were also published by Indian media outlets Kashmir Life and Greater Kashmir.

Is there content that you would like AFP to fact-check? Get in touch.

Contact us