Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan confronted a rising backlash on Thursday after he mentioned former Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden had been “martyred”.
Imran Khan made the remark in parliament as he was describing the historical past of Pakistan’s troubled relations with the US since American particular forces killed bin Laden in 2011 within the northern metropolis of Abbottabad.
“The People got here to Abbottabad and killed Osama bin Laden. Martyred him,” Imran Khan mentioned.
The prime minister confronted blowback from opposition figures and observers following the televised speech.
“Imran Khan has fiddled with historical past, declaring Osama bin Laden as a martyr at present,” former international minister Khawaja Asif advised parliament.
“Muslims everywhere in the world are struggling due to the discrimination they face as a consequence of latest terrorism & our PM makes it worse by calling obl a martyr of Islam!” Meena Gabeena, a Pakistani activist, mentioned on Twitter.
Pakistan has formally denied understanding bin Laden was hiding within the nation till he was shot useless in a night-time raid on Could 2, 2011.
The incident was a serious nationwide embarrassment and induced already-tenuous ties between the US and Pakistan to fray additional.
Asad Durrani, a former spymaster, advised Al Jazeera in 2015 that Pakistan’s highly effective Inter-Companies Intelligence (ISI) company seemingly knew the place he was hiding and hoped to make use of him as a bargaining chip.
The 9/11 mastermind was tracked down after a 10-year manhunt to Abbottabad, a garrison city north of Islamabad the place Pakistan’s army academy is headquartered, sparking allegations authorities have been colluding with the fear group.
Imran Khan has made repeated controversial statements through the years, together with throughout a visit to the US in 2019 when he claimed the ISI offered Washington with a lead that helped them discover and kill bin Laden.
The cricketer-turned premier has lengthy been criticised by opponents for overly sympathising with militants, with rivals as soon as dubbing him “Taliban Khan”.