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Afghanistan ‘fuming’ after Pakistan’s Imran Khan calls 9/11 mastermind ‘martyr’

Osama Bin Laden lived in Abbottabad near a military base and Pakistani state tried to hide it for years to the mirage of getting quid pro quo from the U.S. for his whereabouts

AT News

KABUL: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said the United States had ‘martyred’ al-Qaeda chief and 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden in 2011, and that Pakistan was embarrassed by engaging in America’s war on terror in Afghanistan.

Speaking in parliament, Khan said the United States entered Pakistan and killed bin Laden without informing Islamabad which caused his country an embarrassment. “Pakistan was also openly blamed for U.S.’ failure in Afghanistan,” he said.

Mr. Khan’s remarks come a day after the U.S. Department of State in a report said that there still are terrorist strongholds in Pakistan and that Islamabad’s counterterrorism efforts have not been satisfactory.

His praise of the slain terrorist leader ignited a flurry of criticism and anger in Afghanistan. Taking umbrage at Pakistani PM’s remarks, Afghanistan’s First Vice President Amrullah Saleh has said Imran Khan only sought to please and placate the Army and ISI by calling Bin Laden a ‘martyr’.

Saleh’s office said that Imran Khan rose to power under Pakistan’s Army and ISI’s aegis and had to flatter them by calling Bin Laden a martyr. “If he says Bin Laden is not a martyr, people would be cynical about the games Pakistan is playing in the region in the garb of jihad and Islam. Pakistani Army sheltered al-Qaeda leader for years, how can Mr. Khan refrain from calling him a martyr,” said Rezwan Murad, a spokesman for the First VP.

“His comments solidify the fact that Pakistan still supports terrorist groups and keeps sending them to Afghanistan to wreak havoc and massacre people,” he said.

In reaction to Khan’s remarks, former Pakistani Defense and also Foreign Minister Khawja Asef has said that Bin Laden was a terrorist but “our prime minister called him martyr.

Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security ex-chief has lambasted at Imran Khan saying that his comment prove that Pakistan still fetes and supports terrorists and also encourages international terrorism.

“If American forces withdraw from the region, Imran Khan is trying to instrumentalise the use of terrorism as a weapon to pressure the region and the world, and those attempts have already begun,” he said.

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