ISLAMABAD: The interior ministry on Friday submitted its comments to the Islamabad High Court in Cynthia D Ritchie’s case, stating that the American blogger should be stopped from making controversial statements that go against the basic rights of citizens.
The response comes after the IHC expressed displeasure over the ministry’s comments at the previous hearing, instructing it to provide relevant records of its business visa policy.
In its response to the IHC today, the ministry stated that the American citizen’s visa had been extended twice during 2018-19 which was against the law.
It mentioned that the blogger had applied for her work visa extension two times, but she was given a business visa by the authority against the visa policy, adding that her company was not registered in Pakistan either.
The ministry, on Wednesday, had rejected Ritchie’s visa extension application and asked her to exit the country within 15 days.
IHC expresses displeasure
In Tuesday’s hearing, the additional attorney general informed the court that the American blogger had told the ministry she was not associated with any government institution.
Responding to the AAG’s comments, Chief Justice Athar Minallah noted that previously the ministry had adopted the stance that the blogger had been serving government institutions.
Justice Minallah said that the ministry had not adopted a clear stance so far in the matter.
Expressing displeasure with the representative of the interior ministry, the judge asked: “Is there any law or policy?”, questioning whether the ministry had any documents which explain the visa policy for foreigners.
The court asked whether the same treatment would be given to someone who would come tomorrow on a business visa and start giving statements against the prime minister.
The court ordered the ministry to bring details of the policy in the next hearing.
Moreover, it ordered Ritchie to stop making any controversial statements against politicians.