He daily MailOne of the most popular newspapers in the United Kingdom, has apologized to Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif for publishing an article in 2019 that falsely accused him of embezzling millions in British aid money. The paper admitted it did not have the evidence it claimed. It acknowledged that the National Accountability Bureau had never charged Sharif for the crimes alleged in the story. The apology came after a protracted legal battle during which the paper attempted to delay the case using the COVID-19 pandemic and security concerns as an excuse.
in spite of Daily Mail’s The lawyer, who advised Sharif to fight the case further after Sharif won a preliminary hearing in February 2021, reportedly continued to delay the apology due to assurances from the PTI government that it would help him cement his case.
The apology comes after allegations against anti-corruption czar Mirza Shahzad Akbar during Pakistan’s PTI government. Akbar is facing his own corruption charges and is in self-exile. He had earlier threatened to sue Sharif in a British court, leading to speculation that he intended to present false evidence against Sharif. Akbar allegedly attempted to help the Federal Investigation Agency and the National Accountability Bureau pursue cases against Sharif daily Mailcase in Britain. However, Justice Nicklin ruled in February 2021 that the outcome of the cases against Sharif in Pakistan, including the NAB court conviction, would have no bearing on the UK trial.
Now, daily Mail It eventually published an apology for Sharif and removed the defamatory article after Sharif’s lawyers agreed to drop the case. It is a huge victory for Sharif, who has maintained his innocence. Significantly, when daily Mail The article, published on July 14, 2019, claimed to have solid evidence to support its allegations. However, it has subsequently struggled to find any reliable evidence.
daily Mail Sharif has published a clarification on his website regarding the apology. In clarification, the paper stated that Sharif “has never been accused by the National Accountability Bureau of any wrongdoing in relation to British public money or DFID grant-in-aid”. daily Mail Apologizes to Sharif for the error and is happy to clarify.
How Imran Khan and other Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leaders will make up for their use of the Daily Mail story to attack Shahbaz Sharif is unknownR
The apologetic highlights the troubling tendency of British tabloids to spread misinformation, particularly in the subcontinent, when their lack of knowledge of the subcontinent is combined with their disinterest in fact-checking and their inability to cater to a large Indian and Pakistani diaspora. that combines with their appetite. The reporter responsible for the article, David Rose, has a history of publishing stories that have failed legal scrutiny and has previously admitted to being “hoaxes” by unreliable sources. In 2019, daily MailIt was also criticized for its coverage of events in India. The newspaper published an article which claimed that India was on the brink of war with Pakistan, despite having no evidence to support the claim. The article generated widespread concern and was later debunked by other news outlets.
controversy surrounding Daily Mail’s The allegations against Sharif also raised questions about the newspaper’s motivations and possible bias. daily Mail Has a history of supporting Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and its leader Imran Khan. In fact, some have speculated that the newspaper’s false reporting on Sharif was an attempt to strengthen the PTI’s political position and damage the reputation of its political rivals. This is not the first time that external forces have been accused of trying to interfere in Pakistani politics. Some leaked documents in 2021 suggested that some British individuals and organizations were working to support the PTI and Khan for the 2018 Pakistani general election. The matter is gaining momentum in the foreign funding case of PTI.
Khan and the PTI have often used corruption charges against their political opponents as a means of garnering support and political leverage. However, many of these allegations are based on questionable evidence and have not been proven in court. For example, Khan and the PTI have accused the previous Pakistani government led by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) of corruption and misappropriation of public funds. However, these allegations are not supported by solid evidence, and some have even been rejected by the courts.
These examples highlight the need for vigilance against foreign interference in Pakistani politics. How will Imran Khan and other PTI leaders compensate for their usage? daily Mail The story behind the attack on Shahbaz Sharif is unclear. daily Mailnot only apologized profusely to Sharif, but also removed the story from the internet. The only obvious reason is to avoid the possibility of serious consequences.
Arguing that Shahbaz Sharif was corrupt in other ways, and therefore it does not matter whether daily MailThat the allegations were false was a weak argument for several reasons. First, it didn’t solve the issue, which is daily Mailfailed to verify its allegations before publishing. Second, it assumed that Sharif was guilty of other crimes without providing any concrete evidence to support this claim. Finally, it ignored the fact that false allegations can have serious consequences for the individuals and organizations involved. When it comes to allegations of corruption, it is important to have concrete allegations supported by evidence to hold individuals accountable and encourage real change.
Without solid evidence, allegations can easily be dismissed or ignored, and the individuals or organizations involved may suffer significant damage to their reputations without recourse. Furthermore, spreading false or unverified allegations can undermine public trust in the media and the justice system, and create panic and confusion. daily MailThe apology and clarification in the Shahbaz Sharif case is a reminder of the need for responsible and accurate reporting on sensitive issues.
The writer is a freelance journalist and a postgraduate student at IBA Karachi