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American blogger Cynthia Ritchie directed to leave Pakistan within 15 days

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Ministry issued the deportation order after IHC had given three months to it for deciding on the matter. Photo: File

The Interior Ministry on Wednesday rejected American blogger Cynthia Ritchie’s visa extension request and directed her to leave the country within 15 days.

The ministry had issued the notification after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had directed the ministry to take a decision on the matter after it was informed that the American blogger’s visa had expired on August 31.

Last month, IHC had given three months to the ministry for deciding the deportation of Ritchie.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah had conducted the hearing on the petition filed by Pakistan Peoples Party leader Iftikhar Chaudhary for the deportation of Cynthia Ritchie who gave illicit remarks against the party leadership.

At the outset of the hearing, Justice Minallah had said it was yet to be ascertained either she was working with the government or any other institution, adding there was a dire need to dispel the impression that any institution was behind the issuance of disapproving remarks.

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The officials from the Interior Ministry asked for some more time to make a decision on the matter. To this, the court awarded three weeks.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday's hearing, the ministry had changed its stance on her stay in Pakistan and told the court that she was not associated with any government institution of the country.

The court Tuesday sought the business visa policy from the interior ministry on September 22 in a case seeking deportation of Cynthia Ritchie.


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