Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry clarified that Prime Minister Imran Khan made a “slip of the tongue ” when he called slain al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden a martyr.
Chaudhry, speaking to anchor Saleem Safi on the Geo News show Jirga, said Pakistan considers Osama Bin Laden a militant and the al-Qaeda, a terrorist outfit.
“Pakistan has voted in the UN on the War on Terror [against militants], we are a voter on a [UN] list that declared Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda terrorists,” he said.
“Pakistan has sacrificed the most in the war against terrorism,” Chaudhry added.
Last June, during an address to the National Assembly, the prime minister had recalled how the Americans had conducted an operation in Abbottabad and “killed Osama Bin Laden — martyred him”.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, most recently, in an interview with TOLO News journalist Lotfullah Najafizada, was asked to comment on the prime minister’s remarks in parliament.
He said that the remarks were taken “out of context”.
“He [PM Imran Khan] was quoted out of context. And, uh, you know, a particular section of the media played it up,” he added.
“Is he a martyr? You disagree? Osama bin Laden?” asked Najafizada.
“I will let that pass,” responded Qureshi, after a brief pause.
When asked to comment on why the foreign minister hesitated in answering a question on the premier’s statement on bin Laden, the information minister said Qureshi may have wanted to put the issue behind him and move forward.
Note: Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry’s complete interview will be aired on Geo News tonight at 10:05pm