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Pakistan foreign minister refuses to call bin Laden a terrorist Shah Mahmood Qureshi
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Pakistan foreign minister refuses to call bin Laden a terrorist

By South Asia Monitor/IBNS | @indiablooms | 21 Jun 2021, 08:58 pm

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has refused to call slain Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden a terrorist.

Qureshi’s comments during an interview with Afghanistan’s Tolo News, prompting a senior Pakistan minister to tweet that those who kill innocent people are terrorists.

Responding to a poser from the interviewer, who quoted Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan as calling Osama bin Laden a “martyr”, Qureshi said: “Well, again. Out of context. He [the PM] was quoted out of context. And, a particular section of the media pairs it up.”

Asked if he would disagree, the foreign minister paused for a while and then said: “I will let it pass.”

Asked if he was against a Taliban military takeover, he said: “We have never said, we have never supported or advocated a takeover of Kabul by force.… See, what I have said is it is for you, the people of Afghanistan, to decide what you want.”

On Monday, Pakistan Federal Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry came up with a tweet on the issue as some sort of a face-saver.

“There is no confusion at any level re anyone who kills innocents. That is terrorism and the perpetrators are terrorists. We have suffered the pain of terrorism in our own land and can understand the pain of all who have lost their loved ones in these cowardly attacks,” Chaudhry tweeted, tagging Tolo News.

Qureshi, during the interview, regretted that when things were not moving in the right direction, one looked for scapegoats.

“And the favorite scapegoat you have is Pakistan. When there’s a failure within [Afghanistan], you blame Pakistan for that. Pakistan is not responsible for the failure within.

“Pakistan is not responsible for the squabbling that is going on in Afghanistan. Pakistan is not responsible if the Afghan leadership cannot sit and work out a peace deal. We’re not responsible for that. It’s yours. We’re saying we want to be helpful,” he said.

Special tag: Shah Mahmood Qureshi