Where are feminists? Woman who was allegedly raped by ex-PM, thrown out of Pakistan

In what was a shocking incident, an American blogger based in Pakistan, who had earlier accused former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani of raping and manhandling her, has been asked to leave Pakistan within 15 days, Pakistan media reported on Wednesday.

Cynthia D. Ritchie, who has been living in Pakistan since 2010, exposed several of Pakistan’s top opposition politicians. Now, the Imran Khan-led government and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leaders have come together to expel Cynthia D Ritchie for “hateful and slanderous comments” against former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

According to a Geo TV report, the Interior Ministry of Pakistan on Wednesday rejected Cynthia Ritchie’s request to extend her Pakistan visa and asked her to leave the country within 15 days.

Upon being asked what will she do if deported to the US, Cynthia Ritchie said: “If I am deported, I am going to raise the most unholy hell in Washington DC that anyone has ever seen.”

On July 10, the Islamabad High Court had ordered the ministry to decide on a petition filed by a Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)leader seeking to deport Cynthia D Ritchie after she was accused by the party of making derogatory remarks about former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Earlier in June, Cynthia D. Ritchie levelled grave accusations of rape against several famous Pakistani politicians including former Health Minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin during a Facebook live, which went viral on Twitter.

Ritchie alleged that she was drugged and assaulted by Senator Rehman Malik at his official residence in Islamabad in 2011, while he was serving as the federal interior minister of the coalition government led by his Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

However, PPP leaders refuted all allegations levelled against them and said adding that there is nothing that had happened. The conflict between the PPP and Cynthia D. Ritchie had created a controversy on social media. Following this, social media users had expressed their outrage at the behaviour of the former Pakistan PM.

Ritchie said confidently that she had evidence to substantiate her claims and was ready to share it with “neutral” investigative journalists. Ritchie has over 2 lakh followers on Twitter, who ran supportive hashtags such as “pride of Pakistan” (#CynthiaIsPrideOfPakistan) since she made the allegations public.

Writer, historian, and activist Dharam Sikarwar is a very active author The Youth. He writes on national and international issues, environment, politics. He is an avid book reader as well.