The Daily Mail apology to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has caused a storm in Pakistan with PML-N and its supporters calling it a massive victory for the premier.
Earlier, British publication The Mail on Sunday and news site Mail Online apologized to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for an “error” in an article it published on July 4, 2019 written by reporter David Rose.
Moreover, the said news story, written by investigative journalist David Rose, has now been removed from the publication’s website and other platforms.
Several media outlets in Pakistan began claiming that the publication withdrew all the allegations of corruption made in the article that had accused him and his son-in-law Imran Ali Yousaf of stealing British taxpayers’ money.
Interestingly, the author, David Rose, in a series of tweets, claimed that there is some confusion in the Pakistani media regarding the article.
“There seems to be some confusion in the Pakistani media about the end reached yesterday to the defamation cases brought by Shehbaz Sharif and Ali Imran Yousaf against the Mail on Sunday,” David Rose said on Twitter.
“The apology issued covers only one point: That NAB did not accuse Mr. Sharif of stealing large sums of DFID aid when he was chief minister of Punjab. The newspaper has not apologized for other allegations in the article, such as those covering alleged money laundering,” David Rose said.
David Rose further revealed that Shehbaz Sharif and Yousaf have not issued replies to the defences that comply with the requirements of English law. Moreover, the newspaper has not paid Mr. Sharif or Mr. Yousaf either damages or costs, David Rose clarified.
Messrs Sharif and Yousaf have not issued replies to our defences that comply with the requirements of English law. Those defences therefore stand, and are public documents.
— David Rose (@DavidRoseUK) December 9, 2022
So the apology drama hyped up by Geo group flattened in less than 24 hours https://t.co/hgcs7v5iGG
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) December 9, 2022
The Daily Mail story issue
The Daily Mail article had claimed that Shehbaz Sharif had embezzled funds provided by UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) for the rehabilitation of the 2005 earthquake while he was chief minister of Punjab.
The story was quickly refuted by the PML-N. It was also rejected by DFID, which said the body’s “robust systems protected UK taxpayers from fraud”.
In January 2020, Shehbaz Sharif filed a defamation claim against the “grotesque allegation” claiming a retraction, damages, and an apology.
Thursday, Daily Mail issued a clarification on its website, saying that Shehbaz Sharif “has never been accused by the National Accountability Bureau of any wrongdoing in relation to British public money or DFID grant aid”.
“We are pleased to make this clear and apologize to Mr. Sharif for this error,” Daily Mail added.
It is pertinent to mention here that Daily Mail did not apologize for the allegations of money laundering and TT scandal against PM Shehbaz Sharif.