Why a US blogger is at the center of controversy in Pakistan

It has been nine years since US forces conducted a deadly on a compound of al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Bin Laden’s location had been confirmed by some DNA test done which were done under the guise of a fake anti-polio campaign which was run by local health officials in 2011.
During the time, an American by the name US Blogger of Cynthia Ritchie worked for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province’s health ministry where she collected samples from Abbottabad. Ritchie came two years before the raid said that her presence in the KPK’s health ministry during that time was just a coincidence.
Her evident free access to the country’s remote tribal region and implicit support by the security forces had raised eyebrows in Pakistan as she was at a place where foreign journalists often faced hurdles in reporting.
A foreign corresponding who got evicted from Pakistan told Al Jazeera “Tribal areas were out of bounds if you didn’t have permission and Balochistan even harder. The military was very sensitive about criticism.
Ritchie said that she was investigating a political group by the name of Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) for anti-state activities. The PTM had been campaigning against human rights violations conducted by the military against ethnic Pashtuns in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
Ritchie who had lived in Pakistan on and off since 2009 has a powerful outreach among the country’s social media users with her videos that concentrated on the culture and people of Pakistan getting millions of hits.
Last week the blogger was a trending topic for the Pakistani media as she had accused the former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto of ordering the rape of women who her husband Asif Ali Zardari had affairs with.
She told the news she has all the evidence to back up her claims, her claim has designated ridiculous by the local political analysts. She hasn’t shared any evidence that can validate her claims.
This claim made the millions of Bhutto supporters very angry and made a female senator of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) writing letters to authorities in which she blamed Ritchie of “deliberately leaking private and photo-shopped photograms, private information, personal and tempered documents without approval and manipulating them in public using her social media abusing cyberspace and violating PECA (Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act) with a malicious and intended to harm, shame, force and blackmail personalities targeted by her.”
After former complaints were filed against her, she uploaded a video in which she accused former Interior Minister Rehman Malik of rape. She also accused different politicians of PPP, which include former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani of inappropriate physical conduct.
Ritchie told Al Jazeera” I have also experienced great horrors in this country. I also reported this and communicated this with the US embassy several days after the event. I was stunned I was shocked I reported it to an individual and the US embassy has these details.”
She added “Their reply was less than adequate and let me tell you why I believe it was less than adequate because of one-word” f politics, politics! They did not want to disturb what was going on in the country. So, my rape was kept quiet and I was offered to go back home.”
When we talked to the US embassy in Pakistan about the situation, they said that “they can not comment on a private citizen uninvolved with the US government due to privacy consideration, but added that it provides appropriate services and support to all Americans in Pakistan.”
Ritchie says all events date back to 2011 when she began working for the current Prime Minister Imran Khan.




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