Prime Minister Imran Khan had a “slip” when he called the assassinated al-Qaeda leader and mastermind of the 9/11 terrorist attacks a “martyr,” Pakistan’s Federal Minister of Information and Justice said. broadcasting, Fawad Chaudhry. Speaking to Geo News, Chaudhry pointed out that Pakistan views Osama bin Laden as a terrorist and al-Qaeda as a terrorist group.
Addressing the National Assembly of Pakistan in June last year, Imran Khan called bin Laden, who was killed in 2011 by US special forces in Abbottabad, a “martyr”. “I will never forget how embarrassed we Pakistanis were when the Americans entered Abbottabad and killed Osama bin Laden, martyred him,” Khan said.
Pakistan was not notified in advance when the US Navy Seals conducted Operation Neptune Spear to eliminate Osama bin Laden under cover of darkness in Abbottabad. Bin Laden has been accused of organizing a number of terrorist attacks around the world, targeting in particular American facilities, including the twin towers of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
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Imran Khan had been criticized by opposition leaders for presenting bin Laden as a “martyr”. “He destroyed my nation, and [Khan] calls him a martyr, “former Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif blasted Khan at the time. Imran Khan’s remark about the al-Qaeda terrorist resurfaced a year after the Pakistani minister’s recent interview of Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi with TOLO News.
“It [Imran Khan] was cited out of context. And, uh, you know, a particular section of the media broadcast it, ”Qureshi said.
When the foreign minister was pressed by the interviewer if he disagreed that Bin Laden was a martyr, he paused briefly and said, “I’ll let this go.
Qureshi also deflected the Taliban’s blame for the escalation of violence in neighboring Afghanistan. “You are trying to create this impression that the violence is high because of the Taliban, again that would be overkill. Aren’t there other elements out there that play the role of spoiler? Qureshi said, suggesting that Islamic State and the Afghan government were responsible.
(With ANI inputs)