Conflict between PPP and Cynthia Ritchie intensifies after denial of rape, sexual assault

08:22 PM | 6 Jun, 2020
Conflict between PPP and Cynthia Ritchie intensifies after denial of rape, sexual assault
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ISLAMABAD – Pakistani Senator Rehman Malik has vehemently denied the rape allegation against him by Cythnia Ritchie, a Pakistan-based blogger from the United States, calling them ‘baseless, shameful, and inappropriate’.

“All the allegations are false and have no base,” said a spokesperson of Rehman Malik on Saturday, adding that she “just wanted to damage Rehman’s political stature.”

“The US woman made the inappropriate allegations against Rehman Malik upon the instigation of a certain individual or a group,” said the spokesman on behalf of the former interior minister.

Rehman Malik is currently serving as Chairman of the Senate Standing committee on Interior.

The statement comes a day after Ritchie accused senior Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leaders of molesting her in 2011.

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In a video message posted on Facebook, Richie alleged that she had been raped some nine years ago by the then Interior Minister Rehman Malik and was physically manhandled by the then Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and the Federal Minister of Gilani's government, Makhdoom Shahabuddin while the former-PM was staying at the "President's House".

"In 2011, I was raped by the former Interior Minister Rehman Malik. That's right, I'll say it again. I was raped by the then Interior Minister Rehman Malik," she said in a live video on her Facebook page yesterday.

Ritchie’s video came a week after the opposition party filed a complaint with the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) cybercrime wing against her for hateful comment and slander against slain Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

The blogger, with more than 200,000 followers on Twitter, receive huge response whenever she shares or tweets anything.

On Saturday, Rehman Malik’s spokesperson said that Malik respected Ritchie and all women and would not respond to the allegations leveled against them.

“Malik always stood for women’ rights,” the spokesperson added.

Gilani also denied the allegations in a statement and later said he would file a defamation suit against Ritchie.

Responding to the allegations against him, former premier Gilani asked: "Can a prime minister ever commit such an act at the Aiwan-e-Sadr?"

"What was the lady levelling such accusations doing at the Aiwan-e-Sadr?" he continued, adding: "Who gave her the right to accuse politicians like this?"

He said responding to such statements would be "contemptuous".

Gilani noted that Ritchie had recently levelled several accusations at former Pakistani prime minister and late party leader Benazir Bhutto and "no one can tolerate such accusations".

"I am not worried about what was said about me. I am more concerned about the baseless accusations levelled at Shaheed Benazir."

"Ali Haider Gillani and Ali Qasim have approached the court in this regard," he said.

But, Cynthia responded to his reply by urging Prime Minister Imran Khan to ask him (Rehman Malik) question as to why he called her to her house.

In a tweet, the blogger also accused former President Asif Ali Zardari of serious allegations, saying that she was receiving threats. She said PPP leaders knew that they raped/assaulted her for years.

“There are men in the high ranks of the PPP who raped her and assaulted and they don’t want the world to know,” she tweeted.

In another tweet, she responded former PM that she would not allow anyone to touch her as they touched Sherry Rehman.