Yet another journalist has been attacked in Pakistan in what seems to be a never-ending wave against dissenting voices. Journalist Taha Siddiqui narrowly escaped an abduction attempt in Islamabad on Wednesday morning. Siddiqui managed to escape with minor injuries but the incident has once again left the entire community traumatised. And the authorities, as usual, remain unmoved.It has been stated time and again that the government of Pakistan needs to ensure protection for journalists and progressive activists who are currently on the receiving end of violence, but the state has so far done little to bring an end to these incidents. A number of journalists and activists with critical opinions have been attacked in the past few years. This recent wave against dissenters had begun last year in January when five social media activists were abducted. While four of them returned later, Samar Abbas remains disappeared till date. Raza Khan, a peace activist from Lahore who was abducted in December last year, is yet to be found. The question is where will this end? Will the cycle of violence, hollow condemnations and more violence continue repeating itself? Politicians and lawmakers need to realise that condemnations are not enough. They need to take allegations of those being subjected to such violence and enforced disappearances seriously. If elements within the country’s security agencies are the perpetrators of these incidents, they need to be brought to justice and the sanctity of rule of law rehabilitated.It is about time the Parliament took a tough stance against the practice of intimidation of dissenting voices under the garb of national security. If such incidents continue to take place, it would be a collective failure of all democratic forces. Politicians who claim to be the champion of democratic values are shamelessly silent over the current threat to journalists and activists. It is time for the authorities to move beyond lip-service and act against those trying to threaten and intimidate dissenting voices. *Published in Daily Times, January 11th 2018.