ISLAMABAD - Former Interior Minister and senior leader of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Rehman Malik, on Saturday, strongly rejected allegations of rape levelled against him by US citizen and Pakistan-based blogger Cynthia D. Ritchie while calling these as “baseless and wild.”

“Senator A. Rehman Malik has strongly denied these wild and fabricated allegations levelled against him, which she has done to malign and scandalize him with malafide intentions,” said a spokesperson of Senator Malik in a statement.

In a live video message posted on Facebook, Cynthia had accused the then interior minister Senator Rehman Malik for raping her in Islamabad in 2011, some nine years ago. She also accused two other senior PPP leaders of molesting her and said she was physically manhandled by then prime minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani as well as the then federal health minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin.

The Pakistan-based blogger made these allegations a week after the opposition party filed a complaint with the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) cybercrime wing against her for “hateful comment” against slain prime minister and the party leader Benazir Bhutto.

The spokesperson said that Senator Rehman Malik had endorsed the statement of former Prime Minister Gilani wherein he denied the allegations levelled by Cynthia D. Ritchie.

“She has levelled these allegations of rape against Senator Malik after ten years on the instigation of some group with vested interests only to harm his reputation,” the spokesperson said. He added that tweets from Indian’s RAW directly threatening Senator Malik were hinting of some dirty moves against him as PPP senator stood against Indian Prime Minister Narednra Modi and was committed to the Kashmir cause.

The spokesperson further said that Senator Rehman Malik however considered it below his dignity to respond to US citizen Cynthia’s “wild and baseless” allegations against him. “He respects all women including her and hence would not like to use any derogatory remarks,” the spokesperson maintained.

The spokesperson said that Senator Malik had always been fighting for the rights and dignity of women. “Her reaction has come also due to Senator Rehman Malik’s action as Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior regarding the derogatory remarks and fake news of the US citizen against Shaheed Mohtarama Benazir Bhutto which she had tweeted earlier,” he added.

The spokesperson also said Senator Malik’ sons independently have asked their lawyers for necessary legal action and filing of defamation suit against the US citizen. Cynthia has been at the centre of a controversy since last week, when she tweeted about former PM Bhutto that was described as “derogatory and slanderous” by the opposition party and its followers.

Former PM Gilani also denied the allegations in a statement and said he would file a defamation suit against the blogger. While talking to a private TV channel, he alleged that she had come to Pakistan as part of a campaign to malign politicians. “Who has given them the right to abuse politicians?” he asked.

The former prime minister claimed that Ritchie was maligning him because his two sons had filed a defamation case against her for her alleged defamatory tweet against her leader Ms Bhutto.

Meanwhile, Gilani’s son Ali Haider Gilani in a series of tweets defended his father and said that she decided to attack her father because he had gone to the cybercrime wing against her baseless allegations on “our party leader.” On the other hand, Cynthia has alleged that she has been receiving threats to her life from supporters of PPP following her tweet about Ms Bhutto.