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Pak journo working for Indian TV channel escapes kidnapping in Islamabad

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Pakistani journalist Taha Siddiqui who escaped a kidnapping attempt speaks at a gathering in Islamabad Pakistan

Taha Siddiqui, the Pakistani bureau chief of Indian television channel WION, said he was attacked by 10-12 men while he was going to the airport in Rawalpindi but managed to escape before being kidnapped, suffering minor injuries during the struggle, Dawn News reported.

Taha tweeted from his friend's Twitter handle where he said that he was safe with the police now.

"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".

Pakistani journalist Taha Siddiqui, who escaped a kidnapping attempt, in Islamabad, Pakistan. "Looking for support in any way possible", he said on Twitter using account of another journalist Cyril Almeida.

Siddiqui had also criticised the heckling by the Islamabad Press Corps of Kulbhushan Jadhav's wife and mother when they had gone to meet him in Pakistan on Christmas Day past year.

The Pakistani military has so far denied playing a role in any enforced disappearances, as has the civilian government.

Speaking to the BBC in front of an Islamabad police station where he had given a statement to the authorities, Taha Siddiqui looked still to be in shock, our reporter Secunder Kermani says.

"They held a handgun on me, while one of the men asked to "shoot him in the leg", he said, adding that the cab driver witnessed the entire episode.

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He mentioned that although they threw him on the back of the auto, he somehow managed to escape from the other side of the door. He then ran across the incoming traffic, got into another cab and managed to make his getaway.

Siddiqui said he was beat by the attackers on the road when a military patrol vehicle slowly drove by and saw the attack.

Siddiqui feared that his life was under threat and appealed the police to provide protection to him and his family.

However, he is now safe with the police.

Justice Aamer Farooq issued notices to the agency for May 29 with directions to "act strictly in accordance with law and the petitioner shall not be harassed".

According to the petition, Siddiqui received a phone call from an officer in the FIA's counter-terrorism wing, deputy director Noman Bodla, on May 18, 2017.

He had added in his petition that Siddiqui mentioned that he "was reluctant to go to the FIA Headquarters on the basis that there have been several reports in the press where such phone calls are made and once the person who is to be interrogated sets out to the FIA Headquarters, he is either picked up and disappeared or detained illegally".

Petitioner Taha Shakeel Siddiqui had filed a plea in the high court through his counsel Asma Jahangir, requesting the court to direct the FIA to desist "from harassing citizens simply because they have expressed a view or are carrying out their professional duties". Petitioner said that the interrogation, as the officer had hinted, was about some journalistic articles Siddiqui had written.

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