The Curious Case Of Cynthia D Ritchie

The Curious Case Of Cynthia D Ritchie
Barrister Awais Babar analyses why Cynthia Ritchie, an American woman, is targeting PPP, PTM, PML-N, Dawn, and Geo, simultaneously. Her targets are in striking harmony with those of the powers that be, he argues.

Let us not doubt her of being a spy as many are perceiving her to be and let us all give Cynthia a benefit of the doubt that she may have just suddenly fallen in love with Pakistan and despite that she has no real job and no reliable source of income, she may have decided to become a modern Mother Teresa. But she’s not a philanthropist. It is quite evident from her lifestyle. And with that in mind, it becomes a bit difficult to give her the benefit of the doubt.

Four Pakistani Prime Ministers, a former Interior Minister, and countless other public office holders are on Cynthia Ritchie's radar. But who is she?

Good-looking women have always been used as spies by intelligence agencies. Don't get me wrong. Don’t we see that happening in so many TV shows and films, where a stunningly beautiful and attractive woman is seen making her way through various obstacles without much of a hassle? The same was referred to as 'The Lady in the Red' in the famous Science Fiction film 'The Matrix'. What we see in films and TV shows is a manifestation of what generally happens in real life.

This weapon is even used by terrorists when men disguised as women in burqa would transport bombs from one place to another, hoping that they might get an advantage of not being suspected by the police or by a suicide-bomber; unfortunately, it works. Cynthia Ritchie and other such women usually turn out to be such weapons and they can be very lethal.

Cynthia Ritchie would most likely be a nobody in the United States, but she has become a celebrity in Pakistan over the last few years, and a star during the last week or so. And why wouldn’t she? She is tall, pretty, and single, and a stunningly brilliant communicator. Her utterances have sensationalized the politics of Pakistan in the most inconvenient of times while the whole world is busy fighting an invisible enemy.

A woman who was not in Pakistan when KP was being bombed and a woman who has zero understanding of the background of this country’s problems is bent upon proving on social media that PTM is a rogue organization. Whether or not PTM is a rogue organization, why is Cynthia even interested in this stuff?

Coincidentally, her hatred synchronizes with the hatred the establishment carries for various parties for reasons best known to them and them alone. The establishment has had a hard time adjusting with PPP, PML-N, and PTM for reasons obvious only to them. It could also be the case that she does all this to appease the establishment to prolong her stay in Pakistan as displeasing them would have her gone in hours. But then again, the question is, why?

Looking at our TV screens, it might seem as if there is a small war going on between the establishment-backed parties (or party) and the ‘usual suspects’. However, the game is much bigger. There is much to see for those who are not afraid of unraveling the deeper game.

Whereas previously the US used Pakistan or Pakistan allowed itself to be used by the US to win the Cold War against former the Soviet Union, this time Pakistan seems to be helping the US win the 'New Cold War' against China. As a state, we keep satisfying ourselves with the notion of holding a strategically vital position on the map, and rather than exploiting this blessing to our long-term advantage, we have usually allowed ourselves to be exploited by the same power over and over again. The US and China have completely different strategies for this war. China has centered all its emphasis on trade and enabling as well as obliging weaker states to ultimately broaden its area of influence. The mighty Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a clear manifestation of this assertion; CPEC being one of the six trajectories in the BRI Project.

Ever since the PML-N government set its foot in power in 2013, it immediately got the engine running by dramatically shifting the foreign policy from the US domination to Chinese mutuality. PML-N had the guts to do that, thanks to the somewhat unassertive reign of former Cheif of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kiyani.

Although economically, these moves by PML-N majestically got the economy running, they also caused the US to lose much of its influence in Pakistan. That was when suddenly Imran Khan came out on the roads with the confidence of a Hulk and forced the Chinese President to indefinitely postpone his visit to Pakistan. Then, children died in a school in a horrific terror attack, and, suddenly, the US was back in the driving seat.

The US has a massive influence on the internal administration of Pakistan. Cynthia's unhinged activities in Pakistan are a testament to this influence. Not too long ago, a US citizen got away with killing an innocent civilian in Islamabad and conveniently fled to the US despite court orders to detain him. Raymond Davis is another similar case.

Such an influence has not come about instantaneously but rather is the outcome of a long series of relationships. A truly democratic Pakistan is not in America’s interest, as such a Pakistan would not be manipulated that easily. The public sentiment in Pakistan is by and large anti-US. Not that the people of Pakistan hate the US but they do resent its unceasing influence in Pakistan.

Now the problem is that instead of getting to the root of the issue, political parties and the establishment are locked up in mortal combat. They fail to see the bigger picture. Let’s think of Pakistan as a private company. Just like in a company, the MD and BODs are not everything. Even if they think they are, the arrangement only exists as long as the company itself exists. Therefore, if the establishment thinks that the mud-sliding against politicians is something that does not affect Pakistan and an issue would only be of national interest if the character of a man in uniform is brought into question, rest assured that this is not how it works.

I had never even thought in the wildest of my dreams that I would see a woman on TV accusing someone of rape nine years after the alleged incident had taken place. Such an allegation can only bring a bad name to the alleged perpetrator, as even an independent investigation is unlikely to be conclusive after a lapse of several years.

The host of the famous Pakistani show MazaaqRaat once asked Cynthia Ritchie about the Urdu phrase that she has heard the most in Pakistan. She could have replied with anything in our language but she responded with, "Mujhe Kyun Nikala (Why was I ousted?)", taunting the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. She is also seen conversing via tweets with PTM leaders. She tweeted recently: "Did you get my written statement of harassment against the men in PPP? I admired BB for some of her liberal ways. However Zardari destroyed her legacy. Anyone associated w/ GEO or DAWN is just as bad as PTM and #ZardarisFilthyPPP. The women in PPP will rise against the cowards.”

She said she admired Bibi days after accusing the former prime minister of getting several women raped. Again, her targets are in striking harmony with those of the powers that be.

Ever since PTI, a party best suited to the US interests has come to power, the State Department of the US has been dauntlessly giving speeches as to how unyielding CPEC would be for Pakistan whereas Pakistan's Foreign Ministry has done nothing in response other than rejecting those statements half-heartedly. Many of those in PTI holding dual nationalities of other countries, like Dr. Shahbaz Gill, have publicly undermined the CPEC, which in all logics would transform the economy of Pakistan for good, but to the US's disadvantage.

Cynthia Ritchie, Raymond Davis, and other such people are not killing PPP or PML-N, they are killing Pakistan and if this exercise pleases the self-proclaimed custodians of national interest in our country then that pleasure may not last long. The world only deals with civilians. If the state of Pakistan becomes a sanctuary for mysterious characters like Cynthia, so that the civilians would have a bad image in comparison to those in the uniform, then Pakistan will always remain nothing but the 5th wife of a superpower.

The author is a barrister practicing law in Peshawar and Islamabad. He graduated from Cardiff University. The author can be reached at