Cynthia alleges PPP trying to get her deported

Updated 11 Jun 2020


Senator Malik wants US blogger’s name put on no-fly list. — Twitter/File
Senator Malik wants US blogger’s name put on no-fly list. — Twitter/File

ISLAMABAD: Two days after former interior minister and senior PPP leader Rehman Malik demanded that the name of Cynthia D. Ritchie be placed on the Exit Control List (ECL), the American blogger has alleged that the Pakistan Peoples Party is trying to get her deported.

The US blogger on Wednesday tweeted: “Since #PPP is trying to have me deported, I request to place me on #ECL. So I can fight this battle. I’m not going anywhere. My vacations can wait. Chalo!”

However, hours later, she shared a confidential document, dated June 8, 2020, about the directive given for putting her name on the no-fly list to ensure her presence before the relevant authorities and courts of law, and tweeted: “‘Confidential’… If true, I don’t have to worry about filing for extension, now.”

She also raised the questions of security of former prime minister and PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto on Dec 27, 2007. In one of her tweets, the American blogger said: “I saw bad things from Blackwater operatives & I formally complained to US Ambassador @MunterCameron at the time. Journos should ask when/who authorized/facilitated Blackwater’s presence in Pak? Zardari? Rehman Malik? Why did BB request Blackwater’s protection?”

Senator Malik wants US blogger’s name put on no-fly list

She further said: “Why inadequate security the day of BB’s assassination? Of all the people in PPP who were in positions of power at the time of BB’s death Zardari, Rehman Malik “security advisor”, former Amb Hussain Haqqani then @sherryrehman ... who is still alive? How did they benefit?”

In another series of tweets, the American blogger said prime minister’s adviser Babar Awan, besides Mr Malik, had shared the blame for the security lapses. She tweeted: “Thank you to PPP/BB loyalists who shared information with me: ‘The former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was left to the mercy of her assassins by her security chief who abandoned her in the minutes before her death, a key witness has told the United Nations inquiry into her death. Chaudhry Mohummad Aslam, one of Ms Bhutto’s protocol officers who was guarding her vehicle when she was shot, said that Pakistan’s interior minister Rehman Malik and current law minister Babar Awan were to blame for security lapses which allowed her killers to strike.’”

Earlier, Rehman Malik, who is also chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Interior, had demanded that the US blogger be placed on the ECL and asked the interior secretary, Islamabad police chief and chief commissioner to provide her foolproof security during her stay in Pakistan as apprehensions had been expressed in a TV show about her safety.

The chairman also transferred the suo motu notice proceedings regard-ing her highly defamatory tweets about Benazir Bhutto to the Senate Standing Committee on IT and Telecommunication.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Senator Malik said the PPP leader had not yet responded to Ms Ritchie on her defamatory tweets and not passed any derogatory remarks against her in reaction.

Mr Malik has said he considers it below his dignity to respond to such allegations as he believes in getting justice through court of law for which he has already served two notices on her.

Published in Dawn, June 11th, 2020