Exclusive: Interview with an award winning journalist who escaped from Pakistan to France

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Eat News interviewed Taha Siddiqui, a winner of the prestigious Albert Londres Prize. Taha Siddiqui is currently Chief-Editor of South Asia Press; he also writes for the New York Times, The Guardian, France News24, Al-Jazeera, and other well-known media.

Might Many of you always think and believe that being a journalist is awesome and life as a journalist must be easy? Some might think journalists just report, write, publish and get so many privileges but in reality, it’s a very hard job with responsibilities especially for those journalists who report about politics, human rights from third world countries and covers war zones areas.

Taha Siddiqui is one of that Journo who runs away from Pakistan and reached France just to save his life. In an Exclusive interview, Taha Siddiqui said, “In January 2018 when I was on my way to Islamabad Airport some Armed men which I believe from Pakistan Army stopped my taxi and tried to kidnap me and take me away. It was possible Kidnapping and assassination attempted but luckily I escaped and then after few weeks I reached France with my family because I wanted to write about Pakistan peoples issues.”

Taha Siddiqui Nowadays teaches at French University about journalism and human rights and he is Chief Editor of South Asia Press, a media group which focused Pakistan, publish investigative reports.

When I asked about Media Freedom in Pakistan, Siddiqui said, “Media is not free in Pakistan under the regime of Chief of Army staff Pakistan (Bajwa) and Imran Khan (Prime Minister of Pakistan). Pakistan Army selected Imran Khan he was not elected by the peoples of Pakistan, the army always used media for their own purposes and narrative, Army General Parvaiz Musharraf also used media as a Tool, he brings private media in Pakistan, not to freedom of speech but to create Media to Promote Army narratives.”

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“Mainstream Media is all been silenced by Pakistan Military, all mainstream media is compromising, recent Press survey also showed that 90% news became censored in Pakistan mainstream media is not free any way possible.”

“In Pakistan, journalists are being attacked, kidnapped, disappeared, journalism became a most dangerous profession in Pakistan.” Taha ended.

Talking about human rights situations in Pakistan, Taha Siddiqui said, “I do not think that Pakistan respects human rights, Pakistan doesn’t priority human rights as a national agenda. This is a country wherein People continue to go missing many peoples falsely accused, charged and cases have no justice for example blasphemy and other cases.”

Taha further said that Pakistan Human Rights Minister Shereen Mazari acts like Minister of Human Rights for the world. She never talks or takes issues of human rights within Pakistan but you can see her on social media busy for nothing Highlighting other countries’ issues.

“In Pakistan, no freedom of justice,  no freedom of protest, no religious rights. Human Rights became a joke in Pakistan.” Taha added.

Question regarding China’s aggression toward Taiwan, Taha said, “China’s current policy is so aggressive not only for Taiwan but all regions. China continues denying Taiwanese and Taiwan freedom rights and Taiwan independent status.”

“China trying to economically hurt Taiwan, intervening Taiwan personal matters, same time you can see China aggression towards Uyghurs Muslims, Tibetan, Hong-Kong, and India. Western and European countries should stop patterning with China.”

Mentioning European Union and Western countries roles toward China, Taha Siddiqui added, “EU and Western countries have so many powers diplomatically and internationally I think both should together and make china accountable they must take some bolder steps against china to make her accountable, China uses new techniques to colonizing small countries.”

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“European Union and west should sanction China, they demand an explanation from China, sending missions to investigate china wrongdoing. The most important thing is European Union and West should realize that Chinese Communist Party (CCP) cant is not acceptable the way it is today.” Siddiqui ended.

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Bilal Balouch is an Eat News correspondent at the United Nations, in France and in Switzerland. He was Accredited as Journalist to United Nation and European Parliament.


Eat News is a Taiwanese digital media, analyzes current events and issues through column articles, videos, visual aid, and exclusive interviews.

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