Raking up a controversy, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday called slain Al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden a ‘martyr’. Speaking on the history of Pakistan’s troubled relations with the US, Imran Khan made the comment during the budget session in the Parliament. “The Americans came to Abbottabad and killed Osama bin Laden. Martyred him,” he said. Al-Qaeda leader and 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden was killed by the Navy Seals in Pakistan’s Abbottabad in 2011. Khan said that American forces entered Pakistan and killed bin Laden without informing Islamabad after which everyone started abusing his country. “I don’t think there’s a country which supported the war on terror and had to face embarrassment for it. Pakistan was also openly blamed for US’ failure in Afghanistan,” he added.
His remarks during the televised speech faced heavy backlash from the Opposition. “Osama bin Laden was a terrorist and our PM called him a martyr. He was behind the massacre of thousands,” said former foreign minister Khawaja Asif. Pakistani activist Meena Gabeena took it to Twitter and wrote, “Muslims all over the world are struggling because of the discrimination they face due to recent terrorism & our PM makes it worse by calling only a martyr of Islam!” Pakistan authorities have however denied knowing bin Laden’s hiding in the country until he was tracked down in Abbottabad and shot dead on May 12, 2011. Time and again, the cricketer-turned-politician has repeatedly made controversial statements in the past years, over sympathizing with militants.