LONDON: Senior PTI leaders Shafqat Mahmood and Aneel Mussarat’s evidence provided crucial help to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in a high-profile money-laundering investigation by the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Daily Mail defamation case in the form of getting a clean chit from in the first investigation and apology and removal of the defamatory article at the UK High court.
In a report written by Murtaza Ali Shah which was published in Geo news, stated that PTI donor and Imran Khan’s friend Aneel Mussarat and former federal minister Shafqat Mahmood’s evidence was used by Shehbaz Sharif’s lawyers first in the NCA money-laundering investigation and then in Shehbaz Sharif’s defamation case against the Daily Mail publishers over a defamatory article by David Rose on 14 July 2019.
The entire article of Daily Mail was published on the basis that Shehbaz Sharif and his son-in-law Imran Ali Yousaf were involved in looting British taxpayers’ money that was given to Pakistan to help victims of Kashmir earthquake 2005 but a big blow to this claim when on the day of the article’s publication the Department for International Development (DFID) rejected claims by Daily Mail and said Shehbaz Sharif had not misused funds and that the UK aid programme was transparent and clean.
That clarification helped Shehbaz Sharif but it was Shafqat Mahmood who provided a strong witness statement to Shehbaz Sharif too. During a dinner organised by Aneel Musarrat for Shafqat Mahmood at the Dorchester Hotel on Park Lane on 22nd January 2020, this correspondent had asked Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood about his view on the Daily Mail article and the alleged corruption in DFID funds. Shafqat Mahmood replied that Britain’s aid programme to Pakistan – run by the Department for International Development (DFID) – under the PMLN and PTI governments was “by and large” corruption free.