'Monitoring developments in Pakistan,' says US State Department on WION's Taha Siddiqui's attempted abduction

Taha told WION his attackers managed to make away with his passport, laptop, and phone Photograph:( Others )

WION Web Team Washington, DC, United States Jan 11, 2018, 03.30 AM (IST)

The US State Department said it would "continue to monitor developments" after Wion's Pakistan bureau chief Taha Siddiqui escaped an abduction bid in Islamabad.

Wion's Taha Siddiqui was on his way to Islamabad airport on Wednesday morning when his cab was overtaken and blocked by another vehicle. At least 10-12 men came out of the car armed with Kalashnikov guns, the men hit Taha, threatened to kill him, and threw him back into the cab. 

Taha quickly got out of the other side of the cab and managed to reach the police and filed a case. Taha later told WION that the men spoke fluent English, adding that the men who attacked him wanted to abduct him.

"We are always very concerned over any reports of violence against journalists, in Pakistan and around the world. We will continue to monitor developments," the US State Department said in a statement.

"The United States values freedom of expression as a key component of democratic governance. An active civil society and tolerance of dissenting views are vital components of any democracy," the statement added.

Taha has been critical of Pakistan's powerful military in the past. Last year, the Committee to Protect Journalists had said Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency should stop harassing Taha Siddiqui after a civilian agency began to crackdown on online criticism of the country's military.

Story highlights

Last year, the Committee to Protect Journalists had said Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency should stop harassing Taha Siddiqui after a civilian agency began to crackdown on online criticism of the country's military.