Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan came under heavy criticism from the Opposition after he called slain al-Qaeda chief and 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden a “shaheed” (martyr) during a National Assembly session on Thursday.
Speaking about Pakistan’s relations with the US, Khan said the country had to face a lot of “humiliation” despite lending them support in the Afghanistan war and US’ covert operation to kill Laden caused “embarrassment” to Pakistan.
“The Americans came to Abbottabad and killed, martyred Osama bin Laden. When happened after that? The entire world cursed at us and spoke ill of us,” Dawn quoted the PM as saying.
“So our ally comes to our own country to kill someone and doesn’t inform us? And 70,000 Pakistanis have died in their war. Look at the humiliation that caused to all the Pakistanis who were abroad,” he said.
PM Pakistan Imran Khan considers Osama bin Laden a martyr. pic.twitter.com/tax0t3V5wg
— Naila Inayat ????? ????? (@nailainayat) June 25, 2020
Opposition leader from PML-N, Khawaja Asif said Laden brought terrorism to the country and “was a terrorist through and through” but the PM calls him “shaheed”.
Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, the spokesperson for Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), released a statement in which he called Imran Khan a “national security threat”.
“By labelling Osama bin Laden a martyr, Imran Khan has become a national security threat. If he is a martyr, then what is the status of those civilians and members of our armed forces who embraced martyrdom in the attacks by Al Qaeda? Thousands of civilians and youth were martyred in attacks by Al Qaeda,” Dawn quoted him as saying.
He also said that the prime minister had proven himself to be “Taliban Khan” and that their nexus was evident from the meetings between the two.
Osama bin Laden was killed by US special forces who raided his compound at Abottabad in Pakistan in 2011. He was accused of orchestrating several terror attacks worldwide, including the infamous September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Centre in the US.
In his trip to the US in September last year, Khan had said his country “committed one of the biggest blunders” when it joined the US war on terror after the 9/11 terror attacks by the al-Qaeda. He had also said the country’s intelligence agency ISI had informed the US agencies about the whereabouts of Laden but the US should not have undertaken a covert operation to kill him by completely keeping out Pakistan.
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