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    Cynthia Ritchie’s Allegations Reminiscent Of Zardari’s ‘Secret Wife’ Tanveer Zamani

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    The rape allegations levelled by Pakistan-based American blogger Cynthia Ritchie on senior Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leaders has been doing the rounds on internet, and even some mainstream news channels have invited Ritchie to share details of the alleged incident. The Islamabad-based US citizen has accused PPP leader Rehman Malik of raping her and two other PPP leaders former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and former health minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin of manhandling her.

    While we try to make sense of the ensuing confusion caused by Ritchie’s tweets and statements, we are reminded of a similar array of “accusations” and rumors leveled against PPP top leadership just a few years ago.

    In 2015, a huge drama was created around rumors claiming that a US-based doctor Tanveer Zamani was the secret wife of former president Asif Ali Zardari and the mother of his son. During a particularly sensational week in July, news media was abuzz with speculations about Zardari’s relationship with Dr Zamani. Although Dr Zamani never explicitly confirmed claims of her being Zardari’s wife and mother of a Sajawal Zardari, she let the rumors brew for several days by evading direct questions about the matter.

    However, after the matter had received a lot of air in the media, and the PPP leadership had categorically denied any associations with her, Dr Zamani finally addressed the media on July 13, 2015, and denied ever being married to “brother” Zardari.

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