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Pakistani Minister's 'Buffering' Moment on Osama Bin Laden 'Martyr' Question Puzzles Twitter

File photo from Reuters/Screengrab from Twitter video.

File photo from Reuters/Screengrab from Twitter video.

While the interview itself has stirred up controversy, the Internet has noticed it for another reason: The 'long' pause Minister Qureshi takes before his answer on Osama Bin Laden.

We’ve all had brain-fade moments: entering a room and forgetting why you’re there, losing your train of thought in the middle of a sentence. For Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, this moment came in the middle of an interview. In a recent interview with TOLOnews’ Lotfullah Najafizada, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi discussed the Afghan peace process, Afghanistan-Pakistan relations and Pakistan’s ties with India among other things. In the interview, he “passed" the question on whether Osama bin Laden was a terrorist or a martyr. When asked, “Is he (Osama) a martyr? You disagree? Osama bin Laden?", Qureshi said, “I will let that pass." This was hours after Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan had recalled Osama bin Laden as a “martyr" in the country’s parliament. To this, Qureshi tried to make a case of misquoting, saying, “He was quoted out of context. And, a particular section of the media paired it up."

In the 50 minutes long interview, Qureshi defended the Taliban as well, saying the group is ready for peace and “they have suffered as well." The Pakistani foreign minister explained, “if you try and create this impression that the violence is high because of Taliban…that would be an exaggeration".

While the interview itself has stirred up controversy, the Internet has noticed it for another reason: The ‘long’ pause Minister Qureshi takes before his answer. For a few seconds, instead of responding, he seems to be frozen mid-sentence, then again repeats it, and pauses in the same way for 9 seconds before his response.

A clip of it, posted on Twitter by Pakistani journalist Naila Inaya got noticed for the “out of syllabus" question.

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Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Imran Khan too, recently had a similar moment — except it was telecast live to millions of people. PM Imran Khan had a live telecast to the nation late in March, where he explained the political situation in the country that emerged after Wednesday’s Senate elections in which the opposition managed to stage an upset. He lashed out at the opposition Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) for “making a mockery of democracy", while also calling out the ECP for “protecting those who made money by holding the Senate elections through secret ballot.

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first published:June 21, 2021, 13:13 IST