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Imran Khan calling Osama bin Laden a 'martyr' was a 'slip of the tongue': Pakistan Minister

Speaking in Parliament on June 25 last year, Khan said the American forces entered Pakistan and killed bin Laden without informing the government after which everyone started abusing his country.

June 27, 2021 / 09:54 PM IST
File image: Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan

File image: Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan

One year after Prime Minister Imran Khan described slain Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden as a "shaheed" (martyr), Pakistan's information minister on Sunday clarified that it was a "slip of the tongue" by his boss. Speaking in Parliament on June 25 last year, Khan said the American forces entered Pakistan and killed bin Laden without informing the government 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," Khan had said. "For Pakistanis across the globe, it was an embarrassing moment when the Americans came and killed Osama bin Laden at Abottabad…martyred him. The whole world started abusing us after that. Our ally came inside our country and killed someone without informing us. And, 70,000 Pakistanis died because of US' war on terror," he told lawmakers, drawing criticism from the Opposition as well as from the media.

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Bin Laden, then the world's most wanted terrorist, was killed by US Navy Seals in a covert military operation in the Pakistani garrison city of Abbottabad in May, 2011. Speaking on Geo News programme Jirga, aired on Sunday, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said, "It was a slip of the tongue. He had clarified it," the minister said while referring to Khan's controversial remarks.