From Reham Khan to Cynthia D. Ritchie – No Damage Then, No Harm Now -by- Tazeen Akhtar


Tazeen Akhtar

Since many days she was active against PPP leadership on her social media account not sparing former Prime Minister BB even who is not present in this world and can not defend herself but on Friday it was a big bang from her side that was highlighted in Pakistan as well as in India on selected media outlets.

Cynthia D Ritchie , name was not unknown to us for last many years as we watched her in some social activities and few diplomatic functions of Islamabad. We took her always as a traveler , blogger who loves the landscape and culture of Pakistan just like many other do. But her posts for last few days speak that it is not that simple.

She accused former Minister Interior Mr Rehman Malik of raping her and blamed former Prime Minister YRG and former Finance Minister Makhdoom Shahab ud Din of manhandling her or it means they harassed or trespassed to her. Certainly it was during PPP regime.

Ritchie said that the alleged rape incident had occurred at the accused’s residence in Islamabad’s Minister’s Enclave in 2011, “around the [time of the] OBL (Osama Bin Laden) incident”.

“I thought it was a meeting about my visa but I was given flowers [and] a drugged drink,” she claimed, adding that she had “kept quiet” about the incident because “who in the [ruling government] would help me against the [accused minister]?”

She said she did tell someone about the incident at the US Embassy in 2011, but “due to ‘fluid’ situation and ‘complex’ relations” between Washington and Islamabad, she said the response “was less than adequate”.

Here few questions rise that need to be answered amicably and seriously if the lady is right and her allegations are true.

1- What is her status in Pakistan? She is what , where and how in Pakistan for years ?

2- Why she remained silent when she was raped or harassed -if she told some Embassy person, she legally needs to name that person and bring his/her testimony as well.Why she is telling all this now when it can not be proved anyway?

3- Why the cyber wing of FIA did not investigate her when PPP workers filed applications against her on 28 May 2020?

4- She visited FIA head office in Islamabad on June 02, filed her own application against PPP leadership , It means she is in Islamabad and she has support at her side from some influential quarter here. Who are they ?

5- What took her to the then Interior Minister and at the Presidency when all this happened to her? What was her interest there and what she had to do there with them?

6- When she was visiting the them Interior Minister at  his home, what was the status of that meeting? A minister does not invite a commoner to his home.The meeting was arranged mutually or American Embassy was also involved?

7- It is hard to digest that an American lady is raped and the American Embassy does not move for justice to its citizen. We remember how far the Embassy went in Raymond Davis Case.

Yes , some of her allegations are and may be true ,especially those that carry video and pictorial proofs with them but this new series of allegations carry no such proof neither they can be proved in anyway now when many years have passed.

In Pakistan, it has become a fashion in recent years to malign the political leadership with such type of blame game. All political leaders have been the victim of the same kind of dirty things. Another fact is that no harm to them could be caused in this way. People read listen watch these statements, discuss them for few days and then forget for good.

Reham Khan penned down a book on Imran Khan’s personal life. She tried her utmost to prove that Khan is the most worst character in his private life and his stalwarts are the dirtiest fellows but failed in the long run.

Many cheap writers brought out books on Nawaz Sharif to prove him a womanizer but Nawaz Sharif survived and people did not bothered to give any importance to the stories.

Cynthia D Ritchie is doing the same mistake again. For her knowledge , it can be mentioned here that when YBR was Prime Minister, his connection with a female anchor was talk of the town. But neither his leadership AAZ nor the public took any interest. It was just a gossip for them. Same is true for some ministers at that time. Similarly , when Gen Musharraf was in power , we heard many stories of his affairs with some women parliamentarians and others. Do not go so far, Model Ayan Ali is still alive in the memories of the public. What happened ? AAZ was said to be patronizing her but nothing could be proved nor anything happened to the popularity of PPP or AAZ.

Therefore, the allegations of Cynthia D Ritchie can produce a media hype and chit chat for few days in the public and politics of Pakistan. But if someone thinks that it can ruin the politics of PPP, it is just like living in a fool’s paradise.

Cynthia D Ritchie was no doubt popular in Islamabad circles so far. She was welcomed wherever she showed up. We are witness to that. She has a personality and charismatic influence on the people. Her posts , other than that of PPP, were most often in favor of Pakistan. For that Pakistani people liked her a lot. She can lose her acceptance and popularity in Pakistani society from now on.

National institutions of Pakistan including investigative and security related can not remain indifferent from her matters for long. Sooner or later , these institutions will have to intervene. Another possibility is, the Embassy of her origin country is contacted to see the issue. Whatever it is , if she has been targeted by PPP ministers during their Government it should be dealt in accordance with law at some proper investigation forum and not in media only.

In relatively recent history , Pakistani politics have seen two big jolts from Reham Khan to Cynthia D Ritchie. We have observed that neither Reham’s stories could cause any damage to Imran Khan, PTI nor Cynthia’s revelations can make any harm to Bilawal,PPP. We dont say that both ladies are telling a lie. They may have been right but these stories are not taken seriously when you narrate them after the break ups or when too much time has already passed.



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