Pakistan: Blogger Cynthia Ritchie accuses ex-Minister Rehman Malik of rape
American blogger Cynthia D. Ritchie has accused former Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik of rape. Ritchie, who is based in Pakistan, has leveled allegations of rape and assault against leaders of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP). The allegations come amid a growing conflict between Ritchie and the PPP. The former had shared lurid details of late-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's sex life in late-May.
In a Facebook live session on Friday, Ritchie said, "In 2011, I was raped by then-Interior Minister Rehman Malik." She added, "I was physically manhandled by then-Health Minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin and then-Prime Minister Yousaf [Raza] Gilani while he was staying at the President's House." Gilani was the head of the PPP-led government from 2008 till his ouster in 2012.
On Twitter, Ritchie further detailed that the alleged incident occurred at Malik's house in Islamabad's Ministerial Enclave area. She said it was "around (the time of) the OBL [Osama Bin Laden] incident." Laden was killed in a US raid in Pakistan in May 2011. She tweeted, "I thought it was a meeting about my visa, but I was given flowers and a drugged drink."
Malik and Gilani have denied the allegations against them. Malik's spokesperson also told The Express Tribune that the allegations were made on the "instigation of some vested groups." Gilani also announced that he would be filing a defamation case against Ritchie.
In another tweet, Ritchie said that she had told someone at the US embassy in Pakistan about the alleged assault by Malik. However, Ritchie said, the response was "less than adequate," due to the "'fluid' situation and 'complex' relations between the US and Pakistan." She also said, "Recently they (PPP members) attacked family; I've had it. Ready to face any accuser."
In the video, Ritchie said she was willing to go into the details about her allegations with "appropriate, neutral investigative journalists" and that she "will be ready to meet any and all investigators, as is required by law, as early as next week."
In late-May, Ritchie had shared lurid details of the sex life of Bhutto, a former PPP supremo, and other party leaders. To back her claims, Ritchie recently shared excerpts from Roshan Mirza's book 'Indecent Correspondence: Secret Sex Life of Benazir Bhutto'. The book has detailed the private lives of Bhutto, her son, and current PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto and senior party leader Sherry Rehman.
Last week, PPP's district president in Islamabad, advocate Shakeel Abbasi, filed a complaint with the Federal Investigation Agency's (FIA) Cyber Crime Wing against Ritchie. The party also dismissed Ritchie's allegations against the Bhutto family as "derogatory and slanderous."