Mail on Sunday’s reporter David Mail has stressed that he’s not anti-Pakistan and anti-Muslim after defamation lawyer Mark Lewis accused the paper of anti-Muslim bigotry and British Pakistani Wajed Iqbal said that he had no doubt that Rose and his paper targeted him because of his Pakistani origin and Islamic faith.
David Rose spoke out after The News published report that David Rose and Associated Newspaper Limited (ANL) have lost £1.2 million defamation case to Wajed Iqbal – a part-time bouncer and former taxi licensing officer – after falsely accusing him of being involved with sex grooming rings.
David Rose said on Saturday that he was a fighter against racism and allegations of racism and bias were false.
David Rose didn’t name Wajed Iqbal and his lawyer Mark Lewis or the court case that Iqbal has won but made indirect references to the allegations by both in the wake of out-of-court settlement that has cost the Mail newspaper around £1.2 million.
The Mail reporter wrote: “As for being anti-Pakistani: I first visited Pakistan when I was 18, in 1978. Islamabad was not much more than a village – I think it had one market. I loved the country and its people then, and I love them now – which is why I care about them, and have returned many times.”
He said that he has known PM Imran Khan’s accountability chief Shehzad Akbar for a long time. “He (Shehzab Akbar) was and is a warrior for human rights, and I’m proud I was able to stand shoulder to shoulder with him in some of the battles he fought – with courage and dignity.”
He went on defending his position: “I spent years investigating injustice in the war on terror, including Guantanamo and drone strikes on civilians. I devoted parts of 20 years trying to save the life of a wrongly convicted African-American on death row. If you say I’m a racist, you’d better be ready to prove it.”
David Rose said that he cannot comment “yet on the claims of Shehbaz Sharif, or other legal matters. But allegations that I’ve ever been motivated by anti-Muslim or anti-Pakistani racism are monstrous and defamatory. I’ve spent much of my career exposing and fighting racism, and I stand by that record.”
Two days ago Shehbaz Sharif addressed a press conference with Carter Ruck lawyers and announced that he has gone to London High Court against David Rose and ANL.
The Mail on Sunday had accused Wajed Iqbal of acting as a “fixer” for paedophile taxi drivers in Rochdale in an article written by David Rose in May 2017.
Defamation law specialist Mark Lewis of Patron Law, who successfully represented Wajed Iqbal, told The News that his British-Pakistani client’s victory was huge.—AFP