ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has requested the Ministry of Interior to rule on US blogger Cynthia D Ritchie’s visa application as soon as possible and in accordance with the law.
IHC Judge Aamer Farooq ruled on Ritchie’s motion against the Home Office’s refusal to extend his visa.
Ritchie filed the petition with the IHC after the Home Office denied his visa application and ordered his deportation.
The IHC initially suspended the Interior Department’s decision to deport an American blogger.
In his plea, Ritchie said his request for a visa extension was denied despite providing all relevant documents, adding that the Home Office also failed to state the reasons for the decision.
In her petition to the IHC, Ritchie said her visa had expired and she had applied for a work visa with all the necessary documents.
“[But] due to the pandemic, his application could not be processed and the visas of all foreigners were extended by a general order, and the same grant was also granted to the petitioner,” he said.
Ritchie said she moved another work visa application due to a change in sponsor which was also undecided due to Covid-19, and was then ‘shocked’ to receive a letter from the Home Office stating that his visa application had been rejected.
She added that the Home Office had previously submitted its comments, when hearing a petition by a PPP activist, that Ritchie was not involved in ‘anti-state and illegal activities’. in Pakistan.
“Furthermore, when filing the visa application, all the requirements for a work visa were met. Despite this, the visa application was rejected without any justification,” she said in her petition. .
During the hearing, the Home Office informed the court that Ms Ritchie had been given an opportunity to be heard and that the Department would rule on her request in due course.
IHC Judge Aamer Farooq described the ministry’s response as satisfactory, but the judge ordered the Home Secretary to decide the case quickly and in accordance with the law.
Posted in Dawn, May 22, 2022