Old video from Germany shared as 'Indian flag raised in Balochistan on Pakistan's Independence Day'

By: Annet Preethi Furtado
August 23 2023

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Old video from Germany shared as 'Indian flag raised in Balochistan on Pakistan's Independence Day'


The Verdict False

A 2016 video of the Baloch community's protest in Germany holding Indian flags is being misrepresented.

Claim ID 9143354d


In August 2023, India and Pakistan commemorated the 77th Independence Day. Amid this, a 26-second video was widely shared on X, formerly Twitter, that showed some people holding banners and flags while vocally expressing support for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The footage is claimed to originate from the Balochistan province in Pakistan. The video shows a lineup of demonstrators holding Baloch Republican Party banners, a symbol of the Balochistan independence movement, alongside an Indian flag and chanting pro-Modi slogans, "Go ahead, Modi," "Kadam badhao Modiji, Baloch tumhare saath hain (Move forward Modi, we are with you)," and "Kadam badhao BJP, Baloch tumhare saath hain (Move forward BJP, Baloch are with you)."

The video was widely shared with Hindi captions that translated to, "Baloch people in Pakistan-occupied Balochistan celebrated Pakistan's Independence Day by hoisting the Indian flag and raising slogans... And on the occasion of August 15, greeted the citizens of India." An archived post can be found here.

The video is being shared on X to claim Baloch people, on the occasion of August 15, greeted the citizens of India. (Source: X/@ajaychauhan41, @srdmk01/Altered by Logically Facts)

However, the video is neither recent nor from Pakistan; it captures a demonstration in Leipzig, Germany, by Baloch protestors denouncing alleged Pakistani atrocities in Balochistan in August 2016.

In fact

On conducting a reverse image search on a keyframe from the video, we came across a 2016 DD News article titled "Baloch protesters come out on streets in Germany, raise slogans against Pak." The news broadcast, which included visuals of the same protest, reported that on August 27, 2016, expatriates in Leipzig organized protests denouncing alleged human rights violations in Balochistan, Pakistan. During the protest, the demonstrators criticized Pakistan authorities, and some protesters even carried the Indian tricolour. 

Comparison between the viral video and the video posted on the DD News YouTube channel. (Source: X/@srdmk01/YouTube)

A news report by India Today dated August 28, 2016, also carried photos of the same protest and said that it showed Baloch people living in Germany staging a demonstration in Leipzig, accusing Pakistan Army and then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif-led government of committing atrocities on the people of Balochistan.

The Times of India reported on August 28, 2016, that numerous Baloch activists in exile, residing in Germany, expressed their anti-Pakistan sentiments and applauded Modi's plea to end alleged atrocities in the troubled region. Following this, the Leipzig rally featured slogans like "We want freedom," "Free Balochistan," and "Go ahead, Modi." 

What happened in Balochistan?

There have been reports of severe human rights violations in Balochistan, including disappearances, extrajudicial killings, and torture. Activists and international organizations have highlighted concerns about arbitrary arrests and unlawful killings of suspected militants and opposition figures. In 2016, the Asian Human Rights Commission stated that numerous individuals, including women and children, were killed, and many went missing post-arrest. Sections of the Bolan district were under military control, prohibiting civilian movement as security forces searched for separatist leaders, and houses were extensively searched, reportedly mistreating women and children.

What had Modi said?

In August 2016, Modi raised the Balochistan issue during an all-party meeting in New Delhi. During the meeting, in a policy shift, the prime minister reportedly asserted that Islamabad would be held accountable for its actions against its populace. Modi’s reference moved some activists in Baloch province, notably the leader of the Baloch Republican Party, who lauded his comments and called for Indian support in their pursuits, Scroll reported.

Later, in his Independence Day speech, on August 15, Modi said that even Baloch people in Pakistan had expressed gratitude for highlighting the challenges they faced within Pakistan. According to Scroll, Modi's words were, "The people of Balochistan, the people of Gilgit, the people of Pak-occupied Kashmir have thanked me in such a manner, from places that I have never been and never had a chance to meet, they have sent wishes to the people of India and thanked us." 

The verdict

The video featuring Baloch community members holding the tricolor and chanting pro-Modi slogans dates back to August 2016 and is not from Pakistan. It portrays an event in Leipzig, Germany, where Baloch residents protested by denouncing Pakistan and displaying the Indian flag. The demonstrators accused Pakistan of human rights abuses in Balochistan and appealed for global intervention.

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