Lahore/Islamabad: The police team investigating the failed abduction attempt on journalist Taha Siddiqui on Friday revealed that cameras installed on Islamabad Expressway under a Safe City project were not operational. The main cable supplying power to the cameras installed at the point where Siddiqui reportedly escaped the abduction attempt was cut a few weeks ago due to construction work at Sohan and Khanna interchanges, Koral station house officer Abdul Ghafur told Daily Times. He said investigation of the case was underway and further information would be shared with the media as soon as there was some progress. Meanwhile, the first independent witness to the abduction attempt emerged on Thursday night by sharing her account on social media platform Twitter. Speaking to Daily Times on Friday, Mashal Butt, a final year student at National University of Science and Technology, said, “I was on my way to the university. When I descended onto the highway via the Koral Chowk overpass, traffic was choked though it normally isn’t that bad on that part of the highway. So I thought maybe there was an accident and moved my care into the truck lane which was slowly moving. I saw cars stopped on the other side of the highway for traffic coming from Islamabad to Pindi. As Taha Siddiqui said that he was on his way to the airport, it only makes sense that he was on the other side of the highway. “I saw him approximately 100 metres ahead of me. He was running, stumbling in front of moving cars and then he got into a moving cab with quite difficulty. That’s all I saw,” she said. “I can’t comment on the abductors’ appearance since I didn’t see them. If I was in the rightmost lane, I may have been able to see them, but since I was in the truck lane, I only saw him [Taha] coming from that side of the highway onto the side I was on and get into a cab,” she added. Asked about her immediate reaction to the spectacle, Butt said initially she was confused about the situation, and her first reaction was that perhaps the guy had robbed someone and was fleeing the scene. “Now that I come to think of that reaction, I find it unfortunate that the society has made us think that way in such situations,” she said, adding that when she reached the university campus she shared the details of the incident with a friend. “Between 4pm and 5pm, I saw the Dawn report on the incident and that’s when I tweeted what I saw. It only got traction a day later when another journalist saw and retweeted it.” Butt said she was quite surprised that no one else had come forward with their eye witness account of the incident. “Hundreds of people were there, many with better view of what was happening than mine, since I was in the truck lane,” she said. Siddiqui had escaped the attempt to kidnap him by at least 10 armed men on his way to the airport on Wednesday morning. Speaking at a press conference later, he said that as he was escaping he saw a military truck driving past him. “I cried for help but they refused to stop and drove away,” he said. The FIR was subsequently registered against unidentified attackers. With additional input from Islamabad team Published in Daily Times, January 13th 2018.