Cynthia Ritchie ordered to leave Pakistan within 15 days
American blogger vows to challenge the decision at higher forum
The Interior Ministry has ordered American blogger Cynthia Ritchie to leave Pakistan within 15 days after rejecting her request for an extension in her visa, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Wednesday.
On July 17, the Interior Ministry had told Islamabad High Court that US blogger Cynthia D Ritchie was not involved in any anti-state or illegal activities and can legally stay in Pakistan till August 31.
The Interior Ministry submitted a written report before the Islamabad High Court on a petition moved by a lawyer belonged to PPP seeking directives for it to deport the American blogger.
Cynthia Ritchie filed an application seeking an extension in her visa and the decision regarding the matter will be taken after August 31.
In a video broadcast live on Facebook in May, Cynthia Ritchie had alleged that senior PPP leader Rehman Malik had raped her while two others had "manhandled" her on a separate occasion. She had stated that the incidents occurred in 2011 when the PPP was in power, and when the individual she accused of rape had been a senior minister.
Ritchie had further alleged that two other senior party leaders — a federal minister and former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani (who has publicly responded to the allegation) — had "physically manhandled" her when the latter "was staying at the President House".
The MoI -under pressure best known to them- has for the first time, in my over 10+ years in Pakistan, rejected my Visa application. No reason has been given. We have a right to file an appeal & will do so. A higher forum must entertain my application & upon merits grant visa.— Cynthia D. Ritchie (@CynthiaDRitchie) September 2, 2020
Reacting to the Interior Ministry’s decision, Cynthia Ritchie in her tweets on Wednesday said that she was denied visa for the first time since her 10 years long stay in Pakistan. She said that the Ministry of Interior was under pressure and the reason was best known to them.
1/2— Cynthia D. Ritchie (@CynthiaDRitchie) September 2, 2020
Detailed order of yesterday's proceedings in Islamabad High Court, in the registration of my #rape case against #RehmanMalik.
Our petition is allowed and the impugned order of 5/8/2020 is set aside. pic.twitter.com/rk134WSVMl
She wrote: "The MoI -under pressure best known to them- has for the first time, in my over 10+ years in Pakistan, rejected my visa application. No reason has been given. We have a right to file an appeal & will do so. A higher forum must entertain my application & upon merits grant visa".
Taking to Twitter, Cynthia Ritchie shared proceedings in a local court regarding the registration of a rape case against Rehman Malik.