Rehman Malik Drops Charges Against Cynthia Ritchie

On Saturday, Rehman Malik, the Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior and former interior minister, has decided to drop charges against Cynthia Dawn Ritchie, the US Blogger. He reported that he will not be pursuing either a criminal or civil case. This news came right after he was vindicated from the Pakistani court of the alleged accusations that the blogger had made. 

The senior PPP leader took to Twitter to announce that he has decided to not move ahead with the cases he had filed against her. The reason he gave for his change of heart was ‘good faith’. 

In his tweet, he stated that he did not want to claim victory and celebrate it. In his opinion, Cynthia was forced, by inimical events, to make these accusations against the former interior minister. In the statement that he released, he also informed the public that there was some sinister plot at play. Malik pointed out that the accusations had surfaced only after he had taken notice of the derogatory remarks made by the blogger about his party’s now deceased chairperson, Benazir Bhutto. 

Rehman Malik also stated that all the claims made by Cynthia had been dismissed twice. A justice of the peace from the session and district court in Islamabad, as well as the police, had deemed these allegations as false. 

On the 17th of June this year, Cynthia had sought out the Secretariat Police Station and had filed charges of rape against the senior PPP leader. According to her, he had taken advantage of her back in 2011, at his residence. Nasir Javed Rana, the Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ), dismissed the petition brought in by the blogger. 

Cynthia had then moved IHC against the dismissal declared by the ADSJ. Athar Minallah, the IHC Chief Justice allowed the petition by issuing a six-page order. The sessions court order was set aside by him. 

The former interior minister, on the other hand, had served Cynthia with a notice of defamation. Additionally, he filed an Rs.500 million defamation case against the well-known US blogger, via his lawyer in the Supreme Court. 

Rehman Malik had another defamation notice sent to Cynthia soon after, when she appeared on several TV channels and repeated her allegations against the former interior minister. Reports revealed that the US blogger had made an appearance on two different talk shows on private TV channels on the 7th of June. According to the accused, all allegations made by her were ‘bogus, false, and malicious allegations of rape’.

On the 4th of September, the Federal Ministry of Interior revealed that authorities had allowed the US blogger to enter the country twice with a business visa. She had been in Pakistan in the year 2018 and 2019. Her presence had meant that she was in violation of the policy announced during the hearing of her case, which took place in the Islamabad High Court (IHC). 

The court also ordered that Cynthia Dawn Ritchie’s deportation be stopped. She was given a time period of 15 days to leave Pakistan, with permission from the interior ministry.