Taha told WION his attackers managed to make away with his passport, laptop, and phone Photograph:( Others )
WION’s Pakistan bureau chief Taha Siddiqui narrowly escaped abduction after people tried to pull him out of a cab when he was going to the Islamabad airport on Wednesday morning.
He shared a tweet from Dawn correspondent Cyril Almeida’s account saying that he had escaped abduction at the hands of 10-12 people.
This is Taha Siddiqui (@TahaSSiddiqui) using Cyrils a/c. I was on my way to airport today at 8:20am whn 10-12 armed men stopped my cab & forcibly tried to abduct me. I managed to escape. Safe and with police now. Looking for support in any way possible #StopEnforcedDisappearances— cyril almeida (@cyalm) January 10, 2018
Siddiqui was beaten, threatened with death and his belongings taken. He is now at the police station where he says he is safe.
"They threw me in the back of the vehicle in which I had been travelling, but the door on the other side was open," Siddiqui told WION from the police station where he was filing a report on the incident.
"I jumped out and ran and was able to get into a taxi that was nearby," he added.
Rawalpindi/Islamabad Union of Journalists express serious concerns over attempt to abduct WION's Pak bureau chief @TahaSSiddiqui in Pakistan | #WIONJournoAssaulted @MEAIndia @SushmaSwaraj @PMOIndia @narendramodi @pid_gov @ForeignOfficePk @ImranKhanPTI pic.twitter.com/ydyxEtaYe1— WION (@WIONews) January 10, 2018
Many people, including journalists, have condemned the incident.
Assault on @TahaSSiddiqui is a substantial escalation of a campaign of intimidation.— Mosharraf Zaidi (@mosharrafzaidi) January 10, 2018
This brute thuggery is unacceptable. It only damages Pakistan.
Intimidation cannot suppress voices that do not align w more favourable narratives. Stop trying.
The Rawalpindi Islamabad Union of journalists has expressed serious concerns over the incident. It appealed to Pakistan's Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal to direct officials to investigate the incident.
THe press statement issued by Islamabad Rawalpindi press union (Others)
In May 2017, Siddqui had filed a writ petition with the Islamabad high court alleging harassment by the country's Federal Investigation Agency.
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.
In 2016, Almeida 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. Almeida was subsequently banned from leaving the country.