Saturday, December 10, 2022
LONDON: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) has sacked its senior UK leader Barrister Waheed Ur Rehman Mian after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif scored a victory against Daily Mail over a defamatory article that had made false allegations of corruption against the premier and his son-in-law, Imran Ali Yousaf.
Barrister Mian’s law firm was representing Yousaf in his case against Associated Newspapers Limited (publishers of Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, and Mail Online) while PM Shehbaz was represented by Carter Ruck law firm.
The barrister was made deputy secretary of PTI's Office of International Chapters (OIC) a few weeks ago. He was PTI’s London president when he started representing Yousaf three years back.
He led negotiations with Daily Mail on behalf of Yousaf and always stressed that his client’s case against the newspaper and David Rose — the journalist who wrote the story — was very strong.
A senior PTI leader, on the condition of anonymity, said that Mian had directly told PTI Chairman Imran Khan three years ago that he was representing Yousaf and the then-prime minister did not object.
After Daily Mail apologised to PM Shehbaz and Yousaf through a court contract, PTI leaders raised objections internally that Mian, who was PTI’s Deputy Secretary of the PTI OIC until today, had harmed the party’s narrative by representing Yousaf.
Several PTI officials from the UK as well as two close friends of Khan had sent complaints to him against Mian. They claimed that his legal representation for Yousaf had seriously damaged the party after Daily Mail deleted Rose’s article.
It was only after the victory of PM Shehbaz that the senior leadership changes its mind and relieved Mian of his duties.
When contacted by Geo News, Mian said he had offered his resignation on Friday to the senior party leadership and to Dr Abdullah Riar, Secretary OIC. He said he stood by PTI’s narrative and would continue to work for the interests of the party.
Barrister Mian said after Daily Mail’s apology and retraction of allegations, he had informed the party leadership that he was ready to step away from his role if required.
“I informed the party that if my professional role as a lawyer in the UK is seen as in conflict with the party policy and if it is damaging the party’s narrative then the party should consider to relieve me of my duties."
"I sent this message on Friday and today the notification to relieve me was issued. I welcome it and I have no issue. My support and wishes remain with the PTI and will continue."
PM Shehbaz had Thursday received an apology and withdrawal of each and every allegation of corruption from publishers of the Mail newspapers over an article that he and his son-in-law stole British taxpayers’ money.
Daily Mail publishers have deleted the article — “Did the family of Pakistani politician who has become the poster boy for British overseas aid STEAL funds meant for earthquake victims, asks David Rose” — that had caused huge controversy in Pakistan when it was published on 14 July 2019.
Rose had specially visited Pakistan during the PTI government ahead of the publication.
The Daily Mail took down its article within minutes after informing the court that it had decided not to go for the trial and decided to settle the case with PM Shehbaz and Yousaf.
Not just that, Daily Mail worked with Google to remove every link that contained allegations of corruption against PM Shehbaz, based on Daily Mail’s sensational but false article.