Did Taha Siddiqui face ire of Pakistan military because he voiced concern for Kulbhushan Jadhav’s family?

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New Delhi | Published: January 10, 2018 7:50:28 PM

Days after Pakistan journalist Taha Siddiqui voiced his concern for the mistreatment of Kulbhushan Jadhav's family by Pakistan, he faced a kidnap bid today in Rawalpindi.

taha siddique, who is taha siddique, taha siddique attack, pakistan kulbhushan jadhav, kulbhdushan jadhav wife, kulbhushan jadhav motherPakistan journalist Taha Siddique works for India’s WION channel. (Source: Facebook/siddique.taha)

Days after Pakistani journalist Taha Siddiqui voiced his concern for the mistreatment of Kulbhushan Jadhav’s family by his country, he faced a kidnap bid today in Rawalpindi. Siddiqui is a prominent Pakistani journalist and a vocal critic of Pakistan’s military. On Wednesday, Siddique said he was beaten and threatened with death by nearly a dozen unidentified armed men who tried to abduct him.

Siddiqui is the Pakistani bureau chief of Indian television channel WION. The journalist said he was attacked by 10-12 men while he was going to the airport in Rawalpindi. He, however, managed to escape before being kidnapped and suffered minor injuries during
the struggle, according to Pakistan’s Dawn News. Recounting detail of the kidnap bid, Siddique said in a series of tweets. “I was on my way to [the] airport today at 8:20 am when 10-12 armed men stopped my cab [and] forcibly tried to abduct me.”

“Saale ko goli maaro (shoot him),” shouted the men who were armed with Kalashnikovs and pistols, said Siddique, adding he managed to
escape the kidnapping bid and he was “safe and with the police now”. “Looking for support in any way possible,” Siddiqui tweeted, ending it with the hashtag #StopEnforcedDisappearances.

ALSO READ | Who is Pakistani journalist Taha Siddiqui? How this man working for Indian channel escaped abduction attempt?

Siddiqui is the winner of France’s highest journalism award – The Albert Londres Prize. In May l2017, Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had issued a notice to him for posting comments on social media against the military and asked him to appear before its counterterrorism wing, according to PTI.

Coincidence?

The armed men tried to kidnap Siddique just a few days after he had spoken against the humiliation of Kulbhushan Jadhav’s family by Pakistani authorities and journalists.

Pakistan has put Indian national Jadhav on death row after convicting him on false charges of spying. India is fighting a case for his release at the International Court of Justice. On December 25, Jadhav’s wife and mother met him in Pakistan but they were badly humiliated by authorities as well as local journalists. Siddique wrote against this in a blog published on zeenews.india.com.

In the blog headlined as “Why I am disgusted at the unethical way Pakistan treated Kulbhushan Jadhav’s family”, Siddique wrote, “But this hope for progress (of relations between India and Pakistan) was short-lived, and if anything, the relations have actually worsened, ever since 25th of December when the wife and mother of Mr. Jadhav met him at the Ministry of Foreign Office’s compound in the Pakistani capital.”

Quoting “insiders”, Siddique said, the meeting was not in the hands of civilian authorities but the military, which was in charge of all affairs and “therefore concerns for security overshadowed considerations for hospitality.”

Siddique felt the “shock” after witnessing the behaviour of Pakistani journalists towards Jadhav’s wife and mother. “…the reporters did not ask questions, especially when the family was leaving the venue. They shouted accusations, allegations and slogans at the two women who may have met their loved one for the last time…”, he wrote.

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