I Storbritannia huskes Imran Khan som en cricketstjerne-playboy. I Pakistan oppfattes han som soft overfor islams hardcorefløy. Foto: Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters/Scanpix
Khan holdt en tale der han skulle forsvare sin reaksjon på covid-pandemien, da han gjorde en digresjon:
Imran Khan has sparked outcry after telling Pakistan’s parliament the al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden was a martyr.
Pakistan’s prime minister had been defending his coronavirus response, when he veered into controversy addressing what he said was America’s insulting attitude during the war on terror.
Mr Khan said: “The Americans came to Abbottabad and killed Osama bin Laden. Martyred him,” Mr Khan said. “What happened after that, the whole world abused us. Our ally came here and killed Osama bin Laden without telling us.”
Khawaja Asif, a former foreign minister, immediately accused the prime minister of fiddling with history for declaring a man who was once the world’s most wanted terrorist to be a martyr.
Mr Khan’s remarks are also likely to anger Pakistani leaders who are desperate to reset the country’s damaging reputation as a hotbed of terrorism and extremism.
-Vår allierte kom hit og drepte bin Laden uten å si noe til oss, sier en irritert Khan. Men at han omtaler bin Laden som martyr, forklarer kanskje hvorfor amerikanerne ikke varslet Pakistan. Bin Laden bodde noen kilometer fra Pakistans viktigste militærakademi. De visste at han var der. Hvordan ville pakistanerne reagert om de fikk varsel om at amerikanerne var på vei for å ta ham?
Khan har også tidligere sagt at han beklaget at Pakistan skiftet side og gikk inn på USAs etter 9/11.
Last year Mr Khan said Pakistan’s army and military spy agency trained al-Qaeda and then maintained links with the militants afterwards. Turning against the militants to back America after the 9/11 attacks was one of his country’s biggest blunders, he said.
En ny rapport fra State Department sier at Pakistan var hjelpsomme med forhandlingene med Taliban, men at landet fortsatt gir opphold til jihadistgrupper som terroriserer India og Afghanistan.
Mr Khan made his comments as a new US terrorism assessment said Pakistan had helped America during negotiations with the Taliban, but still hosts the militants in safe havens as they wage war in Afghanistan.
The annual State Department evaluation said Pakistan allowed groups targeting both Afghanistan and India to operate from its soil during 2019.
The acknowledgement that Pakistan had “played a constructive role” in Washington’s attempts to talk with the insurgents comes after years of complaints Islamabad has played a double game supporting the militants against US troops while receiving US aid.
Yet the assessment said Pakistan “continued to serve as a safe haven for certain regionally focused terrorist groups”.
Osama bin Laden was ‘martyred’ says Imran Khan
Imran Khan’s comments were not the first controversial remarks he has made about Pakistan’s role in the war on terror after 9/11
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