Shehbaz hires counsels in London to sue Daily Mail, PM


–PML-N chief’s lawyer Salman Butt is in London to file lawsuit 

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif has initiated action against a ‘fabricated’ story published by British tabloid Daily Mail, with his counsel Salman Butt in London to a prepare a case against the report which he alleged was “planted” by Prime Minister Imran Khan, his aide on accountability Shahzad Akbar and reporter David Rose.

Besides Butt, the National Assembly opposition leader has hired some counsels from England, said sources.

The development comes amid statements by the federal government that it has nothing to do with it. It, however, termed the report an expose on Sharifs’ corruption and asked Shebaz to go ahead with the litigation.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan on Monday said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has nothing to do with the news story. She said the news story was published in London, not in Pakistan.

She said a fabricated news story could not be published in the United Kingdom’s (UK) newspapers because of strict laws there. “Sharif family was involved in massive corruption as Nawaz Sharif was already confining in jail in corruption and money laundering cases,” she added.

In a report on Sunday, the Daily Mail said that the UK’s Department for International Development (DIFD) had given Sharif and his government taxpayers’ cash and that he and his family were embezzling tens of millions of pounds of public money and laundering it to Britain.

The report, however, was rejected by the DFIF shortly after it was published.

Though the government welcomed the report as an expose on Sharifs’ alleged money-laundering, the PML-N took strong exception to it, with the party spokesperson and Shehbaz himself announcing to sue the government and the tabloid for running a ‘planted’ story.

On the other hand, journalist David Rose stands by his story, says he has evidence. “I tried to get their narrative. I called Marriyum Aurangzeb and sent her many messages but she refused to comment on the matter,” he said.