Daily Mail apologized to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and retracted all corruption allegations against him and his son-in-law Imran Ali Yousaf on Thursday.
Additionally, the British publication withdrew David Rose’s article from all Mail publisher platforms.
PM Shehbaz’s alleged theft of public monies was the subject of an article by the British publication’s journalist David Rose, who failed to provide sufficient evidence to support his claims.
Since the report’s publication, the prime minister has maintained that he did not do any wrongdoing and has challenged the accusation in court in the United Kingdom, prompting an apology from the Daily Mail.
In its explanation statement, The Mail Online stated that its item about PM Shehbaz titled “Did the family of the Pakistani politician who has become the face of British overseas help STEAL cash intended for earthquake victims?” was published on July 14, 2019.
The report was based on an investigation conducted by the National Accountability Bureau into Prime Minister Shehbaz and suggested that the money under investigation “included a not insignificant amount of British public funds paid to the Punjab province as DFID grant aid,” according to the statement.
“We recognize that Mr. Sharif has never been charged of misconduct involving British public funds or DFID grant aid by the National Accountability Bureau. We are happy to clarify this and apologize to Mr. Sharif for this oversight,” the clarification stated.
In July 2019, the British publication Daily Mail accused Prime Minister Shehbaz of embezzling millions of pounds of public funds and laundering them in the United Kingdom.
The report, citing Pakistani authorities, states that “a portion of the allegedly stolen funds originated from DFID-funded humanitarian operations.”
The report, titled “Did the family of a Pakistani politician who has become the face of British overseas aid STEAL funds intended for earthquake victims?,” stated that the newspaper was given exclusive access to “some of the findings of a high-level investigation ordered by [then] prime minister Imran Khan.”
The Daily Mail also claimed to have questioned “important witnesses currently on remand in prison, including a British national named Aftab Mehmood.”
“He alleges that he laundered millions on behalf of Shehbaz’s family from an inconspicuous office in Birmingham, without arousing the suspicion of Britain’s financial officials, who periodically audited his books.”