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American blogger Cynthia D Ritchie and PPP Senator Rehman Malik have withdrawn the cases they filed against each other.

The Islamabad High Court has accepted their requests to withdraw the cases on Thursday morning.

Justice Aamer Farooq approved both requests.

Ritchie, who identifies herself as a media director and producer, accused Senator Malik of raping her and Makhdoom Shahabuddin of manhandling her in 2011. The accusation has been denied by both PPP leaders.

Rape
accusations

“In 2011, I was raped by
the former interior minister Rehman Malik. That’s right. I’ll say it again. I
was raped by then interior minister Rehman Malik,” Ritchie said in a Facebook
Live session on June 6.

“I was physically manhandled by [former] federal health minister
Makhdoom Shahabuddin and PM Yousaf Gilani while he was staying at President
House.”

Later, she wrote in a post that the “incident” occurred at the
“IM’s house in ministers’ enclave in 2011” around the time of Osama Bin Laden’s
assassination. “I thought it was a meeting about my visa but I was given
flowers/ a drugged drink. I kept quiet.” She claimed that her family was
recently attacked and she is “ready to face any accuser” now.

On May 29, multiple PPP workers had filed complaints against Ritchie. A letter was written to the FIA’s Islamabad office by PPP District President Advocate Shakeel Abbasi, urging the agency to take action against Ritchie. The letter, dated May 28, 2020, called the blogger’s remarks “extremely derogatory and slanderous”.

Malik filed a request to the district and sessions court in Islamabad in July seeking to file a case against Ritchie under the Offence of Qazf (Enforcement of Hadd) Ordinance, 1979.

The Ordinance relates to “Whoever by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or by visible representations, makes or publishes an imputation of zina concerning any person intending to harm, or knowing or having reason to believe that such imputation will harm the reputation, or hurt the feelings, of such person, is said except in the cases hereinafter excepted, to commit qazf”.

On October 19 Ritchie filed a request to the Islamabad High Court requesting to file a case against Senator Malik.

Abdul Gh Lone

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