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US blogger Cynthia Ritchie to stay in Pakistan till next hearing, orders IHC

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has ordered that the US blogger Cynthia D Ritchie will stay in Pakistan till the next hearing and sought the interior ministry for providing records of persons deported from Pakistan so far, ARY News reported on Tuesday.

The Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Athar Minallah conducted the hearing of a case related to non-issuance of visa to the US blogger Cynthia D Ritchie. Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Syed Muhammad Tayyab Shah also appeared in the hearing for representing the Centre.

The blogger’s counsel told the court that Cynthia was not involved in any illegal activity during her stay in Pakistan in accordance with the report of the secretary interior. During the hearing, Ritchie also recorded statements related to the cases filed against her.

Read: US blogger Cynthia Ritchie directed to leave Pakistan within 15 days

CJ IHC Justice Athar Minallah said that the plea against Cynthia has turned useless. The US citizen levelled serious allegations. The chief justice questioned whether the government is willing to hold transparent investigation against her allegations or not.

The high court ordered that the US citizen will stay in Pakistan till the next hearing. Moreover, CJ IHC questioned relevant authorities regarding the requirements of business visas. “If anyone gets a business visa, the individual can do anything in this country?, remarked Justice Minallah.

“How many people the interior ministry has deported so far over the violation of visa?” remarked CJ IHC, adding that there is a need to investigate into the allegations against Cynthia D Ritchie.

Read: IHC stops interior ministry from deporting US blogger Cynthia Ritchie

Later, the chief justice of the high court adjourned the hearing till October 13.

In the previous hearing, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had stopped the interior ministry from deporting US blogger besides ordering her to submit an affidavit detailing her allegations in the document.

It may be noted that the Ministry of Interior had rejected the application of US blogger Cynthia Ritchie for visa extension and directed her to leave Pakistan within 15 days, on September 2.

The spokesperson of the ministry had confirmed that the application for a visa extension by Cynthia Dawn Ritchie was rejected and directives issued to her for leaving the country within 15 days.

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