Imran Khan
Imran Khan
Photo: AFP

A few days ago, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan created quite the stir after calling slain terrorist Osama Bin Laden a martyr. A now viral video clip shows the Pakistani leader talking before the Parliament about how Laden had been killed in America. Or as Khan puts it, "shaheed kar diya".

If one goes by the Cambridge dictionary, a martyr is someone who "suffers very much or is killed because of their religious or political beliefs". The word has positive connotations, in the sense that a martyr is usually admired or even revered for their sacrifice.

Thus, when the Prime Minister of a country calls a internationally designated terrorist a martyr, it does not sit well with people. On Monday, July 29, a video gave us yet another glimpse of the Pakistan Parliament, and a follow-up debate on the above mentioned topic.

Bilawal Bhutto, the Chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party took Khan to task, critiquing the fact that while he had called Laden "shaheed", the Prime Minister had never referred to Benazir Bhutto in the same manner. He pointed out the various acts committed by Laden, and, amid cheers from some members of the parliament, noted that in spite of this Laden was apparently a more eligible candidate for martyrdom than Benazir Bhutto in the eyes of the Prime Minister.

For the uninitiated, Benazir Bhutto, Bilawal's mother, had served as the Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1988 to 1990 and again from 1993 to 1996. She had been the first woman to hold the position. Not only that, she was also the first woman to head a democratic government in a Muslim majority nation and the youngest elected leader in the Islamic world.

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