Pakistani journalist escapes armed kidnappers en route to airport


Earlier in the morning, Bureau Chief of World is One News Taha Siddiqui was on his way to the airport by a auto to catch a flight when a group of people comprising 10 to 12 men made an attempt to abduct him with force in the jurisdiction of Koral Police Station.

In his post, Siddiqui further said that he had managed to escape the kidnapping attempt and that he was "safe and with the police now".

"Asad Hashim, an Al Jazeera journalist, tweeted that Taha Siddiqui, Pakistan's bureau chief for WION, was beaten up, threatened with death and his belongings were taken away".

Eventually he managed to get to a police station. "I was on my way to airport today at 8:20am when 10-12 armed men stopped my cab & forcibly tried to abduct me".

"This is Taha Siddiqui (@TahaSSiddiqui) using Cyrils a/c".

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The news channel said here that Siddiqui was on leave for three days and was on his way to the Islamabad airport in a cab early on Wednesday when another auto overtook him and blocked his path.

Taha Siddiqui, 33, a correspondent for the France24 news channel, said multiple gunmen beat and threatened him as he rode to the airport in a taxi. He jumped out of the moving vehicle, reports say. In December, he reported on threats to journalists in Pakistan.

Several activists and bloggers have disappeared after criticizing the military or advocating improved ties with India.

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

In May 2017, Siddqui had filed a writ petition with the Islamabad high court alleging harassment by the country's Federal Investigation Agency.

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

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, added DNA. Almeida is a known journalist working with Dawn News.

In November, the 2017 World Press Freedom Index, placed Pakistan among the most unsafe countries for journalists.

In a December 2017 interview with BBC, Siddiqui said that he can "hardly do any serious journalism without talking about the military, which has an extensive footprint in the country beyond its mandate".

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

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