Taha Siddiqui, WION Pakistan Bureau Chief, Escapes Abduction Attempt

Taha Siddiqui WION Pakistan bureau chief survives abduction attempt

Taha Siddiqui WION Pakistan bureau chief survives abduction attempt

A Pakistani journalist, working for Indian television channel and is known for his "anti-establishment journalism", narrowly escaped an abduction plan by armed men in Islamabad on Wednesday. I managed to escape. He was beaten, threatened with death and his belongings taken.This is unacceptable. They grabbed him and tried to take him away, but he resisted and ran away during the scuffle and sought help, He went to the nearby police station to lodge the complaint. I was on my way to airport today at 8:20am whn 10-12 armed men stopped my cab & forcibly tried to abduct me.

"Later, he tweeted from his friend and journalist Cyril Almeida's twitter handle".

Petitioner Taha Shakeel Siddiqui had filed a plea in the high court through his counsel Asma Jahangir, requesting the court to direct the FIA to desist "from harassing citizens simply because they have expressed a view or are carrying out their professional duties". He said he was on his way to the airport in a taxi when armed men in two cars surrounded his taxi after forcing it to stop.

Taha Siddiqui tweeted that he was on his way to the airport when he was almost abducted. The vehicle kept on driving as the abductors signalled them to move on, he alleged.

Last year, the Federal Investigation Agency of Pakistan issued a notice to Siddiqui to appear before its counterterrorism wing, allegedly to explain his criticism of the military on social media. Safe and with police now.

In May past year, Siddiqui filed a formal complaint against the counter-terrorism wing of the civilian Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) after they summoned him and asked him to submit his laptop for forensic tests.

Journalists and journalists' unions and civil society organizations have made statements in support of Siddiqui and pushing to end enforced disappearances in the country.

According to Siddiqui, who held a press conference about the incident, the assailants were well dressed and spoke fluent English.

In 2016, Almeida was banned from leaving the country after he had written an editorial piece in The Dawn titled "How to Lose Friends and Alienate People" where he said that instead of taking action against terrorist groups, the government and the country's military was lecturing journalists.

After the gruesome incident, another senior journalist tweeted that "it was a miracle that he (Siddiqui) escaped".

When Siddiqui replied that his work was in the public domain and that any questions could be asked over the phone, the FIA told Siddiqui in a threatening tone and voice that it would "be better" for him to appear before it. A court past year ordered the federal investigation agency to stop harassing him.

Pakistan is regarded by media watchdogs as one of the most unsafe countries for journalists, with risks from authorities and jihadist groups.

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