The interior ministry ordered American blogger Cynthia Ritchie to leave Pakistan within 15 days on Wednesday, after rejecting her request for an extension in her visa.
Cynthia Ritchie to unleash unholy hell in Washington DC on deportation
When asked in an interview with Zamir Haider what she will do if deported to the US, Cynthia Ritchie said: “If I am deported, I am going to raise the most unholy hell in Washington DC that anyone has ever seen.”
@OfficialDGISPR @ImranKhanPTI “If I am deported I am going to raise the most ‘Unholy Hell’ in Washington DC that anyone has ever seen” says @CynthiaDRitchie 👇 in “Public Pulse with Zamir Haider” on @PublicNews_Com pic.twitter.com/yKEEbSnMIf
— Zamir Haider (@Zamirhaider) September 2, 2020
Later, clarifying her comment, Cynthia Ritchie tweeted “My comment was about specific individuals in the PPP, their behaviour and the influence Rehman Malik has over the police… Don’t try to add unnecessary Masala Zamir.”
Don't try to edit/add unnecessary masala Zamir. I recorded the interview, too.
— Cynthia D. Ritchie (@CynthiaDRitchie) September 3, 2020
IHC sought interior ministry to explain business visa policy
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) had also urged the ministry to decide upon Ms. Ritchie’s stay in Pakistan and the extension of her visa.
In an earlier hearing, the court was told that her visa had expired on August 31. The interior ministry submitted a written report before the Islamabad High Court on a petition moved by a lawyer who belonged to PPP, seeking directives to deport the American blogger.
The IHC on Tuesday, asked the interior ministry about the business visa policy and gave one last chance to the ministry to satisfy the court in the case of the deportation of American blogger, Cynthia D Ritchie.
Ms. Ritchie was restrained form speaking out against political figures of Pakistan. Her lawyer, Mr. Imran Feroze, assured the court that no such statements would be made by the blogger.
The MoI -under pressure best known to them- has for the first time, in my over 10+ years in Pakistan, rejected my Visa application. No reason has been given. We have a right to file an appeal & will do so. A higher forum must entertain my application & upon merits grant visa.
— Cynthia D. Ritchie (@CynthiaDRitchie) September 2, 2020
Interior Ministry’s previous allowance to Cynthia Ritchie
On 17th July, the Interior ministry said in its order, that according to security agency’s report, Cynthia had not been found involved in illegal and anti-state activities.
The order previously issued by the secretary interior was a confession of issuing work visa to Ms Ritchie, against the law. This order was brought up by Chief Justice Athat Minallah, who said the same had raised serious questions.
Interior ministry had decided not to deport US citizen Cynthia Ritchie. The ministry reversed this decision on PPP application seeking to deport US Blogger
The interior ministry had given a clean chit to US blogger Cynthia Ritchie. However, it is after the IHC directed the interior ministry to provide a copy of the decision, and after the hearing, that the ministry reverted its decision.
Chief Justice IHC expressed dissatisfaction with the Ministry’s earlier order
Chief Justice Athar Minallah during the hearing on Tuesday expressed displeasure with the interior ministry’s decision. Expressing dissatisfaction with the representative of interior ministry, the bench asked on what basis had the ministry made its decision.
`Is there any law or policy?’, The chief justice asked. He questioned whether the ministry had any documents which explained the visa policy for foreigners.
The court remarked that if someone were to come tomorrow on a business visa and give a statement against prime minister, would they be treated in the same way – with such lax attitude?
The Chief Justice of IHC stressed that the laws and policies must be applied in a non-discriminatory manner, the interior ministry however, had disregarded this fact in the matter at hand in its earlier decision.
During the hearing, the ministry’s representative was asked what would have happened if someone like Ritchie made a political statement against the prime minister or any other institution.
The ministry representative was unable to answer how the petitioner’s case was different. The chief justice said that if the appointed representative of the ministry failed to satisfy the court at the next hearing, the interior secretary would be summoned.