There is a growing outrage and backlash over Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan labelling of deceased Al Qaeda head honcho a “martyr”.
The PM made the remarks in the Pakistani parliament while addresing the tumultuous relations between Pakistan and US since the killing of the former Al Qaeda chief in a Abbottabad, Pakistan in 2011.
“The Americans came to Abbottabad and killed Osama bin Laden. Martyred him,” Khan said.
The term martyr is a controversial one in Islam, as it is often times loosely use as a label for even those considered terrorists by the west. Islam revers and refers to those who die for the cause of the religion as martyrs.
“Imran Khan has fiddled with history, declaring Osama bin Laden as a martyr today,” Former foreign minister Khawaja Asif told parliament.
“Muslims all over the world are struggling because of the discrimination they face due to recent terrorism & our PM makes it worse by calling obl a martyr of Islam!” Meena Gabeena, a Pakistani activist tweeted.
In the days that followed after the May 2, 2011 raid on Bin Laden’s compound, which led to him been killed, Pakistani authorities furiously distanced themselves from knowing that the wanted Al Qaeda leader was taking refuge in the compound.
The raid caused embarrassment to the Pakistan government and further strained already precarious relations with the US.
The former cricketer-turned politician is often accused of having sympathies for radical islamic militants in the region and this has led opponents to dub him “Taliban Khan”.
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