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End this culture of impunity

18 90 58

Pakistani journalists and activists continue to face intimidation and violence. Worse, they have to deal with a culture of impunity that impedes justice and keeps the dissenting voices under check.

Recently, Taha Siddiqui, an Islamabad based journalist was taught a lesson for his outspoken views; especially those pertaining to the Republic’s holy cows. Taha escaped an abduction attempt. He was lucky. Many in the past have not been so fortunate. Indeed, hundreds of journalists have died in the past decade and scores of activists have gone missing. Taha was dragged from a cab, threatened and may have disappeared had he not undertaken a harrowing escape. His case is before the Islamabad Police but given past records – it remains uncertain as to whether his potential abductors will ever be identified, let alone punished.

Taha is my friend and colleague and I have seen him evolve into a fearless journalist. It is always great to see younger Pakistanis speaking up and highlighting things that many are afraid to mention. This was both exciting and promising, for Pakistan needs more people who have the courage to speak and write the truth. However, my personal brush with death in 2014 slightly changed my view. I cautioned him on multiple occasions regarding the real and present dangers. But he was as undaunted as he was inspirational for........

© Daily Times