Cynthia Ritchie story is not really new in Pakistan. This has happened before with different names but interestingly enough with same party, which is still called PPP.
When Pakistan People’s Party was blossoming in 60’s, a conspiracy was hatched to curb its progress and nip it in the bud. A lady Zahra Fona was imported from Indonesia who claimed that she was pregnant and the baby in her belly called for Azan and could recite the Quran.
She became an instant sensation in those days. People used to flock around her. She was visited by religious scholars from around the country who put their ears on her belly and confirmed that they could hear Azan and recitation. She became so elevated that she led the prayers at various mosques around the country including Badshahi Mosque Lahore.
She got exposed when she suddenly fell ill and had to rush to Karachi hospital where doctors confirmed that she wasn’t pregnant at all and was hiding a tape recorder in her private parts. That matter was hushed instantly and she left the country on next available flight, never to be seen or heard again.
The plan was that right before elections, she would declare that it was haram to cast vote in favor of PPP and given her elevated religious stature and uncanny baby, people would listen to her. That was not to be.
Zahra Fona and Cynthia Ritchie are two sides of the same coin.