ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday stayed the interior ministry’s order directing American blogger Cynthia Ritchie to leave Pakistan within 15 days.
Earlier this month, the Ministry of Interior had rejected application of Cynthia Dawn Ritchie, seeking extension in visa. She was directed to leave Pakistan within fifteen days. The American journalist believed that the Ministry of Interior issued the order under pressure.
She claimed that she had fulfilled all the legal obligations required for extension of visa to ensure her continued stay in the country, still her request was rejected without an explanation.
On completion of the arguments, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah stopped the ministry from deporting the foreigner woman. The court also directed the petitioner to submit an affidavit and provide details of her accusations.
Who is Cynthia?
The 38-year-old said that she came to Pakistan in 2009 for the first time and since then except for some time abroad she had mostly been living in the country.
She completed her bachelors degree in law and mass communication from US state Louisiana in 2003 and she completed her masters from the same university in education and psychology in 2005.
Later, she did masters in two other fields as well including one in strategic public relations from George Washington University.
Following completion of her education, she was appointed as child advocate at Texas judiciary, where she served for one year. In 2008, she served as community coordination officer at city council of Houston city in Texas. She said, “Pakistani community was very active politically and socially in Houston during that time. I worked with the Pakistani community for development of Houston city, from here the Pakistani community built respect in my heart for them.”
Her brawl with PPP leaders spans over several months now. Few months ago, sharing some personal pictures, she accused Murtaza Wahab of having illicit relations with various women. She alleged Yousaf Raza Gillani and Rehman Malik of raping her, while she alleged Shahabuddin of groping her. The trio of them have turned down the allegations raising question on her intentions.
The PPP has filed complaints against the American woman at more than 200 police stations across the country. PPP leader Sehar Kamran has registered complaint with the Inter Services Inelligence and Federal Investigation Agency demanding investigation about Cynthia Ritchie and expelling her from the country right away.
To a notice issued by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Cynthia Ritchie said that she had been residing in Pakistan for the last 10 years and had been working with archaeology department of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and different NGOs. She said she did not want to fight the PPP, in fact she wanted to see Bilawal Bhutto Zardari as a powerful leader of the country.
She said she was currently busy in making an investigative documentary and she wanted to interview Bilawal for the documentary film.
Member of Senate Standing Committee on Interior Senator Rehman Malik had asked the interior ministry to place name of Cynthia Ritchie on the exit control list. Another letter by the Senate body on interior had sought protection for the American woman as her life was in danger after levelling serious allegations of the Pakistan Peoples Party leadership.
Cynthia arrived in Pakistan for the first time in 2009 on a three-day visa, which is given by embassy of the country through which all the security processes are by-passed. Hussain Haqqani was Pakistani amabassador to the United States at that time.
She has so frequently been travelling to Pakistan ever since that currently she is travelling on her second passport to the country.