Islamabad: Cynthia D Ritchie, the US blogger working in Pakistan for almost a decade, has withdrawn her plea in the Islamabad High Court (IHC). She had sought orders from the court for registration of a criminal case against former Interior Minister Senator Rehman A Malik for allegedly raping her in 2011.
Ritchie had come forward with the startling allegations last year in June when she revealed in a video message that she was raped by the former Interior Minister when she visited his residence in the Minister’s Enclave Islamabad in a matter relating to her visa.
According to her, she had raised the issue with the US mission in Pakistan and some friends who advised her to keep quiet as those were the days when Osama Bin Laden was hunted by the US marines on the Pakistani soil and the Obama administration didn’t look keen to go into another diplomatic row with the Pakistan government.
Soon after her charges were reported in media, Malik vehemently denied them and in return filed a defamation suit against her.
However, on Thursday, it seemed both the parties had struck a reconciliation deal and the counsel for the US blogger Imran Feroz Malik informed the IHC that his client was no longer interested in further pursuing it.
He also informed that Malik had also withdrawn his petitions against her. Justice Amir Farooq of the IHC while accepting the request dismissed Ritchie’s petition.
Ritchie, who identifies herself as a media director and producer had also accused two other leaders of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and former Health Minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin of inappropriately touching and hugging her. Those accusations too had been denied by both 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,” Ritchie had said in a video post last year on June 6.
She had added further “I was physically manhandled by [former] federal health minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin and PM Yousaf Gilani while he was staying at President House.”
About the visit at Malik’s residence, she had said, “I thought it was a meeting about my visa but I was given flowers/a drugged drink. I kept quiet.”
Later, she moved a plea in the local court of Islamabad for directing the police to file a case against Malik. The court however turned down her request that forced her to move an application in the Islamabad High Court for the same directions to the court and the police.
Malik filed a request to the district and sessions court in Islamabad in July seeking to file a case against Ritchie under the Offence of Qazf (Enforcement of Hadd) Ordinance, 1979. According to this ordinance whoever levels false allegations of fornication is liable to punishment according to the Pakistani laws.