Exiled Pakistani journalist turns comic book author
A Pakistani journalist in exile has turned his life story into a comic book.
Taha Siddiqui’s therapist told him not to dwell on the attempted kidnapping he suffered five years ago, or he would never escape his trauma.
“Clearly, I didn’t listen to her at all,” he says, with a smile.
His new autobiographical comic book — The Dissident Club — co-authored with cartoonist Hubert Maury who was previously a French diplomat in Pakistan, is set to be released on Wednesday in France, and soon in other languages.
The book shares its name with a Paris bar, which he opened in 2020 as a refuge for exiles like himself.
In Jan 2018, members of Pakistan’s military pulled him from a taxi in broad daylight and shoved him into another car. However, he leapt from the moving car, ran down the busy highway and managed to alert his media friends, swiftly organising a press conference about the attack in order to buy time.
Only after escaping to Paris did he discover he was on a “kill list” and could never return. He had worked with many international media and won the prestigious Albert Londres prize for a piece on the Taliban banning polio vaccines.