Prime Minister Imran Khan referring to slain Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden as a “martyr” last year was a “slip of the tongue”, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry clarified in Geo News programme, ‘Jirga’.

“Pakistan has voted in the UN on the war on terror [against militants], we are a voter on a [UN] list that declared Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda terrorists,” said Fawad Chaudhry.

“Pakistan has sacrificed the most in the war against terrorism,” Chaudhry added.


In an interview with Afghanistan’s Tolo News, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi skipped a question when asked if Osama bin Laden was a martyr. Qureshi paused for a few seconds and then said, “I will let that pass.”

Senior Afghan journalist Lotfullah Najafizada had originally asked Qureshi about PM Khan calling Osama bin Laden a martyr. The foreign minister responded that the PM was quoted out of context. “Out of context. He was quoted out of context. And, a particular section of the media played it up.

When asked to comment on why the foreign minister hesitated in answering a question on the premier’s statement on bin Laden, Fawad Chaudhry said Shah Mahmood Qureshi wanted to put the issue behind him and move forward.

Addressing the National Assembly in June last year, PM Khan recalled how the Americans had conducted an operation in Abbottabad and “killed Osama Bin Laden — martyred him”.