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Cynthia Ritchie has 15 days to exit Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Interior has rejected an application to extend the visa of US blogger Cynthia Dawn Ritchie. She has been given 15 days to leave Pakistan. Ritchie, who identifies as a media director and producer, has accused former PM Rehman Malik of raping her and Makhdoom Shahabuddin of manhandling her in 2011.  The accusation has been denied by the PPP leaders. “In 2011, I was raped by the former interior minister Rehman Malik. That’s right. I’ll say it again. I was raped by then interior minister Rehman Malik,” she had said in a Facebook Live session. “I was physically manhandled by [former] federal health minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin and PM Yousaf Gilani while he was staying at President House.” Later, she wrote in a post that the “incident” occurred at the “IM’s house in ministers’ enclave in 2011” around the time of Osama Bin Laden’s assassination. “I thought it was a meeting about my visa but I was given flowers/ a drugged drink. I kept quiet.” She claimed that her family was recently attacked and she is “ready to face any accuser” now. On May 29, multiple PPP workers had filed complaints against Ritchie on May 29. A letter was written to the FIA’s Islamabad office by PPP District President Advocate Shakeel Abbasi, urging the agency to take action against Ritchie. The letter, dated May 28, 2020, called the blogger’s remarks “extremely derogatory and slanderous”.

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