Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan’s words have yet again landed him in crosshairs of the general public as well as opposition leaders, who are training guns at him for calling notorious terrorist and al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden a “martyr”.
Making a rare appearance in the National Assembly (NA), Imran on Thursday took the floor and among other things, elaborated how Pakistan had been humiliated despite having sacrificed lives in the war against terrorism.
“The way we helped America in the war on terror and the humiliation that my country had to face. I don’t think there has ever been any other country that supported war on terror and had to face criticism from them. If they are not successful in Afghanistan, Pakistan is held responsible for that too,” he said.
The premier went on to add that the United States (US) “martyred” bin Laden in Abbottabad.
“Pakistanis were deeply embarrassed when Americans killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad. Shaheed kar diya [was martyred]. But what happened after that? The entire world hurled abuses at us. Our ally [the US] entered our country and killed someone without even telling us. It was a big humiliation,” he said before going on to describe the drone attacks as the second set of incidents that embarrassed the country.
Osama bin Laden was killed in a military operation by US Navy Seals in 2011 in Abbottabad — a few kilometres away from the Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) — and ended a nearly 10-year search for bin Laden, following his role in the 9/11 attacks on the US.
“Whose side are you on? The head of al-Qaeda, a terrorist organisation, who died in Abbottabad or the 70 to 80 thousand Pakistani civilians and military men who laid down their lives in the war on terror?” Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader and former Sindh governor Muhammad Zubair said while reacting to Imran’s statement.
He, however, wasn’t the only one the premier’s speech attracted a strong reaction from. Here’s what Twitterati have to say:
Meanwhile, a viral clip showed former foreign minister Khawaja Asif also calling Imran out in his speech on the floor of the Lower House.
Addressing the NA, he reminded the premier that Osama bin Laden was responsible for instability in the region, especially Pakistan, and was nothing but a terrorist.