A Pakistani journalist, who was behind a documentary on Balochistan, has escaped a horrifying kidnap attempt in Islamabad today.
Taha Siddiqui, who visited Balochistan as part of a documentary titled “Terror and bloodshed in Balochistan, who’s to blame?“, was beaten and threatened while on way to airport today at 8:20am local time.
The documentary on Balochistan was televised in July 2017 by WION, World is one News, which has its headquarters in headquarters in Noida, India. The documentary was also published on The Balochistan Post in August 2017. In the documentary Taha Siddiqui visits the family members of victims of enforced disappearances. A part of the documentary also analyzes impacts of China Pakistan Economic Corridor on the region.
Taha Siddiqui used another journalist Cyril Almeida’s Twitter account to break the news about his abduction attempt.
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
Taha Siddiqui could only escape by running through oncoming traffic. He then reached a police station to report about the incident. His belongings were taken away in the abduction attempt.
Taha Siddiqui, a Pakistani journalist, was beaten and threatened, and only escaped by running through oncoming traffic. pic.twitter.com/odsasHDa85
— Asad Hashim (@AsadHashim) January 10, 2018
Taha Siddiqui is a well-known journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian and many other international publications. In 2014 he won the Albert Londres Prix award, the French equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize, for his coverage of Pakistan.
Enforced disappearances, which initially started in Balochistan, have now escalated in parts of Pakistan including in Punjab in last one year. Many bloggers, journalists and social activists have been abducted by armed personnel in civilian cloths.
Few of the bloggers that were later released have accused Pakistani Intelligence agencies of being behind their illegal detention.