Zain Qureshi, a member of Pakistan's National Assembly and the son of Pak's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, during the global Debate at 9 pm with Republic's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami on Friday, was left speechless when asked a simple question which required a one-word answer- a simple 'yes' or 'no'. The question was, "Was Osama bin Laden a terrorist?"
Imran Khan, while speaking in Pakistan's National Assembly in Islamabad on June 25, 2020, had termed the US troops' killing of Osama Bin Laden in 2011 as a 'shameful incident'. The Pakistan Prime Minister, in his speech in the assembly, had lamented the fact that their former ally US had not even informed the authorities before entering the country, and had later called the most-wanted now-dead terrorist 'a martyr'.
When faced with the same question on Arnab's debate, Zain Qureshi who did not see it coming, by several modes and means, first tried to dodge it but when that did not help, he settled with 'Osama bin Laden was not a friend. He did not bring any benefit to Pakistan.' When pressurized further by Arnab Goswami, the Pakistan Minister unwillingly blurted out that nobody 'condones' Osama's actions, and that his 'terrorist organization' is banned in the country.
Clearly cornered by this point, Shah Mehmood Qureshi's son also ended up saying that the organizations of Hafiz Saeed, Masood Azhar are 'all banned' in Pakistan. Then he was confronted with the truth by Republic's Editor-in-Chief that the IS-KP network has been recruiting from the Jaish-e-Mohammed and the Lashkar-e-Taiba which are all sheltered by Pakistan, in response to which, Zain Qureshi once again had no reply.
#WipeOutPakTerror | 'Was Osama Bin Laden a terrorist - Yes or No?' Watch Zain Hussain Qureshi, Parliamentary Secretary Finance (MNA), Pakistan, answer Arnab's question #LIVE here - https://t.co/NWgtMkjnrK pic.twitter.com/ko21zbDDNV— Republic (@republic) August 27, 2021
Zain Qureshi then went on to claim that Pakistan in fact was a victim of this 'war of terror'. "We have lost 80 thousand lives in our country, we have lost over 150 Billion Dollars from our economy," he said.
Chris Alexander, Canada’s former Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, was also part of the debate and said," In the eyes of everyone, it's Pakistan that enforced a military solution on Afghanistan, they invaded at a much larger scale than even Russia and Putin's invasion of the Ukraine" Replying to him, Zain Quresh reiterated, "The peace process Mr. Alexander keeps talking about was in fact facilitated by Pakistan; the Doha talks have been facilitated by Pakistan, and our Foreign Minister (Shah Mehmood Qureshi) who you have been calling the Taliban Foreign Minister has been trying to negotiate, and pave way for an inclusive government."
When asked why Pakistan and its administration were so interested, he put the blame of it all on the United States. "It was the United States which asked Pakistan to negotiate and bring the Taliban to the talking table," underlining that like 'us', they do not have the privilege of 'sitting back and watching' as they share 2700 km long border with Afghanistan- the Durand line which pertinently is not even acknowledged by the war-torn country.