Nation special report
ISLAMABAD: Big uproar was witnessed at the National Assembly here on Thursday when opposition members took exception at calling Osama bin Laden as ‘martyred’ by none other than Prime Minister Imran Khan.
PML-N senior leader Khawaja Asif on Thursday lambasted Prime Minister Imran Khan over his speech in the National Assembly in which the premier referred to slain Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden as “martyred”.
“Imran Khan called Osama bin Laden shaheed. Bin Laden brought terrorism to our lands, he was a terrorist through and through and he [premier] calls him shaheed?” said Asif during the National Assembly session.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Imran delivered an all-encompassing speech in the parliament.
Speaking about the country’s relations with the United States, he said Pakistan had to face a lot of “humiliation” despite supporting Washington in the ‘war on terror’ and was then blamed for the US’s failures in Afghanistan.
Recalling an incident that he said caused “embarrassment” to Pakistan, the premier said: “The Americans came to Abbottabad and killed, martyred Osama bin Laden. When happened after that? The entire world cursed at us and spoke ill of us.”
Following the prime minister’s speech, Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, the spokesperson for Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, also released a statement in which he called Imran a “national security threat”.
“By labelling Osama bin Laden a martyr, Imran Khan has become a national security threat. If he is a martyr, then what is the status of those civilians and members of our armed forces who embraced martyrdom in the attacks by Al Qaeda?
“Thousands of civilians and youth were martyred in attacks by Al Qaeda,” he said.
Khokhar also questioned the lesson the prime minister was trying to teach the younger generation.
“Today Imran Khan has proven himself to be ‘Taliban Khan’ in parliament. The Imran Khan-Taliban nexus was evident from the meetings between the two.” This is the same person who had called for the Taliban to open their offices in Pakistan, he said.
The prime minister also said that he never felt more humiliated than he did on May 2, 2011 when American commandos took him out without informing Pakistan. “Never did I feel more humiliated than I did when OBL was taken out in Pakistan,” he said in his speech at the US Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington. “Here was a country which was an ally, which did not trust us [enough to tell about the raid]. We do not want to be humiliated like this again.”
Asad Durrani, a former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence chief, had also told Al Jazeera in 2015 that the ISI probably knew where Osama bin Laden was hiding and had shared this information with the Americans before the Abbottabad raid. But this was the first such confirmation by a Pakistani ruler.
He said his government had also tried to mend relations with India but the BJP government’s Hindu supremacist agenda became clear when India annexed occupied Kashmir last year.
Imran said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a “fanatic” who is a curse for not only Indian Muslims but also for Hindus.
He said the Kashmir issue has now reached a “point of no return” and India keeping eight million Kashmiris subjugated by deploying 800,000 troops will be “unsustainable”.