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THE CAT IS OUT OF THE BAG: PAKISTAN JOURNALIST CLAIMS ‘ABDUCTION’ BY SECURITY FORCES


Taha Siddiqui, a well known Pakistani journalist ranking among the foremost critics of the country’s powerful military establishment told a press conference in Islamabad that he suspected security forces of ordering his abduction which he miraculously escaped.

“At around 8am on 10th Jan, I was travelling to Islamabad airport when a car pulled out in front of my taxi and slammed on the brakes. After a small crash, around “10 or 12” men wearing plain-clothes and carrying AK-47s surrounded my vehicle, he said.”

Wearing a blood-flecked shirt and muddy trousers, he said that he believed that the incident mirrored others. In recent months, dozens of lesser-known critics of the military have been abducted without trace, with Pakistan’s army facing accusations that it is seeking to crush dissent within the civilian government and civil society. 

Viewpoint

Rarely does anyone speak against the powerful military in Pakistan, however whether noted journalist Taha Siddique will continue to fight the system, will others join him?  Or as usual will he be pressurized to succumb into the hands of the mafia ISI, will be interesting to see.

The flagrant unethical practices committed by Pakistani security forces and Intelligence agencies against women, children, journalists and Human Rights activists exists for long however, now they have started gaining international attention. To cover up their act and primarily as an eye wash, Pak Army/ISI had recently released Ms. Zeenat Shahzadi who had ‘forcibly disappeared’ while working on the case of Indian citizen Hamid Ansari.  Frequent abduction of journalists shows the level of barbarism of a rogue organization.

Pakistan ISI has been regularly suspected of targeting and eliminating journalist/activists. As per reports of Amnesty International 40 journalists have been killed in Pakistan for their work since 2008. Dawn reported that, in the first seven months of 2016, there were 510 reports of forced disappearance in Pakistan. However, according to Amnesty International, the commission has so far received 3,000 cases of such disappearances. In early January 2017, five social media activists Salman Haider, Waqas Goraya, Aasim Saeed, and Ahmad Raza Naseer went missing from different parts of Pakistan. Also target killings of Hamid Mir (GeO TV), Raza Rumi, Abrar Tanoli etc in the recent past indicate the barbarism of ISI. Dozens of journalists have reported instances of harassment, intimidation or attacks at the hands of the ISI to Amnesty International however, barbarism of ISI continues in Pakistan.

11 Jan 2018/Thursday                                                                                           afsana159630@gmail.com

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