Sunday Jun 07, 2020
ISLAMABAD: American journalist Cynthia D Ritchie, who had accused PPP leader Rehman Malik of raping her in a video message a couple of days ago, said that the former interior minister should be asked about "that night".
“The flowers, the electronic device (unusual) gift & the drugged drinks he gave me,” she tweeted.
Cynthia alleged that the PPP was harassing her to write in favour of the party.
In response to a question about whether she was ready for court or not, Cynthia tweeted: “Absolutely. As I said before, I'm ready for a court. All the documents, voice notes, filthy images and rape threats from PPP, the data scientists who've assisted in putting together this nexis [sic] of harassment. I hope PPP is ready for my suit.”
Earlier in a statement to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Cynthia had said that she has been living in Pakistan for the past 10 years.
“I've worked closely with CTD's, Female Commandos in KP, Highways and Motorways Police, Military, NACTA, etc. I am also proud to say I met my fiance here in Pakistan and we plan to announce our engagement soon. I have always been a law abiding resident of Pakistan.”
She also alleged in her statement that there were links of anti-state activities between the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement and the PPP.
“To be clear, I would never make defamatory statements without evidentiary support. Even though that's what PPP and PTM do to me all the time: claiming I am on 'government payroll' and 'hunt dissidents'. I am a freelancer and pay taxes to FBR and report my income to IRS in the USA. I am not on the government payroll. I take projects (such as KP Dept of Archaeology/ Engro/ and some NGOs) as matters of personal and professional interest,” she said.
Cynthia made it clear that she would only accept an apology from the PPP chairman himself. “I will acknowledge the apology and consider removing the tweet. I will only accept an apology from the Chairman of the party,” she said.
“And, to be fair, I've wanted to do a documentary on Bilawal as a potential future leader. I have no interest in fighting PPP. But I will NOT be threatened or - especially - have my family threatened. And I WILL fight them with truth if I have to,” she said in the statement.
She also attached some screenshots of PPP supporters she claimed were harassing her.
Earlier, the PPP claimed that the Additional Sessions Judge and Justice of Peace had summoned Cynthia along with the officials of the FIA, Cyber Crimes, and the PTA on June 9 on the complaint of the President Pakistan People’s Party, Islamabad chapter, Raja Shakeel Ahmed Abbasi.
However, the PPP’s claim of summoning Cynthia was not confirmed from other sources. It was confirmed that FIA Cybercrime Wing was served the notice on Saturday.
Party office-bearers from the four provinces, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan have also registered complaints with the FIA, Cyber Crimes, and PTA.
PPP ex-senator Sehar Kamran had also written letters to agencies, asking questions about Cynthia's stay in Pakistan and her agenda.
The PPP claimed that no action had been taken against Cynthia due to her close “association with the PTI government” due to which she continued to level baseless accusations against the PPP leadership on social media.
Meanwhile, Chairman Senate Committee on Interior and former interior minister Senator Abdul Rehman Malik Saturday strongly rejected the “baseless and wild allegations” of Cynthia against him.
In a statement, the spokesperson for Rehman Malik stated that Malik had endorsed the statement of former prime minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani in which he had also denied Cynthia’s allegations of 'manhandling' her.
In a video broadcast live on Facebook a few days ago, Cynthia alleged that Malik had raped her, while two others had "manhandled" her on a separate occasion.
“She has leveled these allegations of rape against Senator A. Rehman Malik after 10 years on the instigation of some vested group only to harm his reputation. Tweets from Indian RAW directly threatening Senator A. Rehman Malik give hint of some dirty moves against him, as Senator A. Rehman Malik stands against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and is committed to the Kashmir cause," said the former interior minister.
Malik's spokesperson further said that he considered it below his dignity to answer Cynthia's allegations. The spokesperson further said that the former interior minister respects all women, including her, and hence would not like to use any derogatory remarks towards her.
"He has always been fighting for the rights and dignity of women. Her reaction has also come due to Senator A. Rehman Malik’s action as the Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior regarding the derogatory remarks and fake news of the said US citizen against Shaheed Mohtarama Benazir Bhutto, which she has tweeted earlier. “
Senator A Rehman Malik’s sons have asked their lawyers for necessary legal action and defamation against Cynthia.
Former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani and another senior leader of the PPP Makhdoom Shahabuddin have termed Cynthia’s allegations absurd and baseless.
Talking to The News, Gilani said Shaheed Benazir Bhutto was a leader of global stature and Cynthia came up with a highly objectionable statement against her, after which the entire party reacted to it. He said his son, MPA Ali Hyder Gilani, announced moving the court against her, and in reaction, Cynthia started 'targeting' him and levelling allegations which had no substance or reality.
He said it was the same Cynthia who, a few months ago, attended a reception hosted by PPP stalwart Faisal Kundi at the residence of a former Pakistani diplomat and praised him before his son as he (Gilani) was unable to attend that event due to ill health.
She had conveyed her regards to him and had stated that Mr Gilani was held in great esteem by the people in the US.
Separately, Makhdoom Shahabuddin, a former federal minister from Rahim Yar Khan, stated that the allegations levelled by Cynthia were totally absurd, false and baseless.
Terming the episode a plot against the PPP, Makhdoom said that whenever he met Cynthia Ritchie, he treated her well and always showed respect to her, adding that the accusation of 'manhandling' levelled against him could only be described as absurd.
He said Cynthia also tried to malign Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and now she was targeting her stalwarts, which gave a clear indication that she was acting on an agenda.
"My loyalty is with the PPP and I will remain committed to my party," said Shahabuddin, who was also a minister in the cabinet of Benazir Bhutto between 1993 and 1996. He also served as PPP's southern Punjab president besides being a federal minister in the cabinet of then prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani.