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Daily Mail journalist claims Shehbaz Sharif still ‘hasn’t commenced a lawsuit’

LONDON: A journalist from Dail Mail UK, David Rose, has once again come up with claims of still not receiving any lawsuit from the former Punjab chief minister and the Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif against his story exposing alleged thefts from the earthquake relief funds.

David Rose, in his Twitter message, said, “Hello Pakistani friends. A lot of you have been asking if Shehbaz Sharif has commenced a lawsuit against me and my newspaper yet. He hasn’t.”

While resharing his July 14’s story, the journalist said, “Sources tell me that investigations by NAB [National Accountability Bureau] and the Asset Recovery Unit into allegations against Shahbaz Sharif have continued with some vigour since my article was published. This may explain why he hasn’t filed a lawsuit: they have been keeping him busy.”

Read More: ‘I stand by my story against Shehbaz Sharif’, says British journalist

Shehbaz Sharif had claimed to serve a legal notice to the newspaper on July 26, alleging it as a ‘politically motived’ report. He had also shared copy of the legal notice in his Twitter message.

Later on August 23, British journalist, David Rose of the Dailymail had debunked a series of tweets directed towards him and the news publishers by Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) President, Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif.

The leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, taking to the social networking website Twitter, claimed that the British news publisher and the journalist associated with them, i.e David Rose had failed to respond to his legal notice sent prior citing defamation and libel.

Read: Shehbaz only lodged complaint against British newspaper instead filing lawsuit: Akbar

The politician wrote on the micro-blogging website: “DailyMail stated last month that they would respond to our legal notice on or before 22Aug & journalist David Rose tweeted on 17Aug that it would b “shortly”. My lawyers, however, still have not received a substantive response from DailyMail in defence of their claims against me.”

To this, Rose responded, “I’m only going to make one comment on Shahbaz Sharif’s recent statements.”

“He [Shehbaz] complains the earthquake was in 2005 before he became CM. But according to evidence already aired in a Pakistani court, the alleged thefts from the quake relief fund were in 2009 and 2011. Refutation?”

Background

A British newspaper had made startling revelations in its report on July 14 that British authorities have decided to initiate a probe into the millions of Pounds funds the UK sent to the government of Shehbaz Sharif as an aid.

The Daily Mail UK report claimed that the paper was given exclusive access to some of the results of a high-level probe ordered by the government of Pakistan. The paper said it was also able to interview key witnesses held on remand in jail, including a UK citizen Aftab Mehmood.

 

He claims he laundered millions on behalf of Shahbaz’s family from a nondescript office in Birmingham without attracting suspicion from Britain’s financial regulators. The paper said that Shehbaz and his family were embezzling tens of millions of pounds of public money and laundering it in Britain.

Read: ‘Quake relief fund embezzled in 2009-11’: Daily Mail journalist hits back at Shehbaz

They are convinced that some of the allegedly stolen money came from DFID-funded aid projects.

The report said that legal documents allege that Shehbaz’s son-in-law received about £1 million from a fund established to rebuild the lives of earthquake victims, to which DFID gave £54 million from UK taxpayers.

Investigators have launched inquiries into alleged thefts from DFID-funded schemes to give poor women cash to lift them out of poverty and to provide healthcare for rural families.

Stolen millions were laundered in Birmingham and then allegedly transferred to Shehbaz’s family’s accounts by UK branches of banks including Barclays and HSBC, the report said.

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