Islamabad High Court asks Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency to stop harassing WION bureau chief

The petition filed with the Islamabad high court also listed Pakistan's interior ministry and Noman Bodla, deputy director of the FIA's counterterrorism department, as respondents.? Photograph:( Facebook )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India May 24, 2017, 08.54 AM (IST)


The Islam­abad High Court on Tuesday asked the Federal Investigation Agency to stop harassing WION’s Pakistan bureau chief Taha Siddiqui and issued a notice to the director general and another official of the FIA.

Justice Aamir Farooq has sought a response from FIA officials and has adjourned the hearing in the case till May 29.

Siddqui had filed a writ petition on May 22 with the court alleging harassment by the FIA.

The petition says the FIA called Siddiqui, demanding that he appear before it at FIA headquarters for interrogation.

When Siddiqui asked the FIA why, he was not given a concrete answer.

But the FIA hinted that it wished to question him about his reporting.  

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.

The petition adds Siddiqui was reluctant to appear before the the FIA because "once the person who is to be interrogated sets out to the FIA headquarters, he is either picked up and disappeared or detained illegally".

The petition adds that ever since the phone call, Siddiqui has noticed that "plain-clothed persons have conspicuously been pointing at his house".

And that the "petitioner is a journalist and it is his responsibility to collect information and to be able to impart this information to the public at large".

Before filing his petition, Siddiqui wrote to WION that he is "being harassed by the FIA and being targeted for expressing my opinions".

And that he is the "only journalist on that FIA list and I'm the first to ask relief from courts since I feel harassed and intimidated".

The petition also lists Pakistan's interior ministry and Noman Bodla, deputy director of the FIA's counter-terrorism department, as respondents.

It was Bodla who had made the call to Siddiqui.