The US blogger and documentary maker Cynthia D Ritchie got a ‘clean chit’ from the interior ministry regarding allegations of ‘overstaying’ in Pakistan and her alleged involvement in some anti-state or criminal activities.
According to a report submitted by the Interior Ministry before the Islamabad High Court, the US blogger and journalist Cynthia D Ritchie has a valid visa until Aug 30 and she has also applied for visa extension.
A Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Interior submitted in the court that all the foreign nationals including Ritchie staying in Pakistan were given visa extension till end of August due to Coronavirus situation in the country.
He, however, informed the court a separate application has also been filed by the US blogger seeking visa extension.
Cynthia Ritchie was also present in the courtroom during the hearing of the petition that is filed by an activist of the Pakistan People’s Party Chaudhry Iftikhar Ahmed.
The petitioner has adopted that she is a foreign national and has stayed in Pakistan without a valid visa. He has also sought her deportation from Pakistan on the grounds that she has maligned the PPP leadership with controversial posts on social media and is involved in anti-state activities. In the last hearing on July 10, the IHC Chief Justice had directed the Interior Ministry to hear the complainant as well as the blogger and pass a speaking order in this matter.
The court while directing provision of a copy of the Interior ministry’s report to the complainant/petitioner fixed next Friday July 24 as the date for final arguments.
Cynthia Ritchie on June 5, 2020 had accused former Interior Minister and PPP Senator Rehman Malik of raping her in 2011 when the PPP was in power. She also accused ex-PM Yousuf Raza Gilani and ex-health minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin of physically manhandling her.