Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan confronted a expanding backlash on Thursday immediately after he mentioned previous Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden had been “martyred”.
Imran Khan designed the comment in parliament as he was describing the background of Pakistan’s troubled relations with the US considering that American specific forces killed bin Laden in 2011 in the northern town of Abbottabad.
“The Americans came to Abbottabad and killed Osama bin Laden. Martyred him,” Imran Khan claimed.
The key minister faced blowback from opposition figures and observers pursuing the televised speech.
“Imran Khan has fiddled with heritage, declaring Osama bin Laden as a martyr right now,” previous international minister Khawaja Asif explained to parliament.
“Muslims all over the globe are battling for the reason that of the discrimination they confront thanks to new terrorism & our PM will make it even worse by contacting obl a martyr of Islam!” Meena Gabeena, a Pakistani activist, claimed on Twitter.
Pakistan has formally denied realizing bin Laden was hiding in the region right until he was shot lifeless in a evening-time raid on May well 2, 2011.
The incident was a important countrywide embarrassment and triggered presently-tenuous ties between the US and Pakistan to fray further more.
Asad Durrani, a former spymaster, explained to Al Jazeera in 2015 that Pakistan’s strong Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency probably knew where he was hiding and hoped to use him as a bargaining chip.
The 9/11 mastermind was tracked down following a 10-12 months manhunt to Abbottabad, a garrison city north of Islamabad where Pakistan’s navy academy is headquartered, sparking allegations authorities were being colluding with the terror group.
Imran Khan has created repeated controversial statements more than the yrs, like all through a vacation to the US in 2019 when he claimed the ISI supplied Washington with a guide that aided them locate and eliminate bin Laden.
The cricketer-turned leading has lengthy been criticised by opponents for extremely sympathising with militants, with rivals once dubbing him “Taliban Khan”.