‘Vindication’ for PM Shehbaz as Daily Mail apologizes over corruption allegation

ISLAMABAD, Dec 8 (APP):British newspaper Daily Mail on Thursday tendered an apology to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for an “error” in its article published on July 14, 2009, accusing him of wrongdoings in a DFID grant aid to Pakistan.

Entitled “Did the family of Pakistani politician who has become the poster boy for British overseas aid STEAL funds meant for earthquake victims”, the article was written by the Daily Mail journalist David Rose.

The newspaper had accused PM Shehbaz Sharif of any wrongdoing with the British public money that had been paid to the Punjab province in the DFID (Department for International Development) grant aid when he was its chief minister.

'Vindication' for PM Shehbaz as Daily Mail apologizes over corruption allegation

“We accept Mr 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 apologise to Mr Sharif for this error,” the newspaper said.

In its apology, the newspaper wrote, “In an article concerning Mr Shehbaz Sharif entitled ‘Did the family of Pakistani politician who has become the poster boy for British overseas aid STEAL funds meant for earthquake victims’ published on 14 July 2019 we reported on an investigation by Pakistan’s National Accountability Bureau into Mr Sharif and suggested that the money under investigation included a not insubstantial sum of British public money that had been paid to the Punjab province in DFID grant aid. We accept Mr 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 apologise to Mr Sharif for this error.”

Following the Daily Mail’s apology, Prime Minister Shehbaz tweeted, “I bow my head in humility before Allah (SWT) for my vindication.”

He said for three long years, Imran Khan and his “minions” went to any limit to assassinate his character. In their smear campaign, they did not bother if their actions brought a bad name to Pakistan and damaged its relations with a friendly country.

“They mocked and ridiculed me and my family through their baseless allegations but I had my unwavering faith in Allah, for only He could expose their brazen lies.”

The prime minister reiterated his belief that disinformation and fake news had limited shelf life and truth being the ultimate victor. “After NCA, Daily Mail story has proven it,” he remarked.