Islamabad: People like slain Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden do not die but stay alive in the hearts of people and become a "symbol of struggle", Jamaat-e-Islami chief Munawar Hasan said in the Pakistani capital today.
Addressing a seminar on Afghanistan, Hasan claimed the US was hesitant to completely pull out of the war-torn country because it was afraid that bin Laden might "come back alive".
"People like Osama bin Laden do not die. They continue to leave in the hearts of people," he said. Those like bin Laden continue to provide a new narrative for the people`s struggle, he claimed.
In May 2011, bin Laden was killed during an unilateral raid by US Navy SEALs in the garrison town of Abbottabad, a short distance from the elite Pakistan Military Academy. The raid embarrassed the Pakistani military and sent bilateral ties into a tailspin.
Hasan had triggered a storm in November last year when he called slain Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Hakimullah Meshud a martyr, drawing condemnation from the powerful military.
The military described his remarks as "irresponsible and misleading" and sought an apology.
Speaking at the same seminar, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said developments in Afghanistan have a direct impact on Pakistan.
He said the resolution of the Afghanistan issue is a must.
US-led NATO forces are set for a complete drawdown in Afghanistan in 2014.
The US heads a 150,000-strong NATO operation in the country and it plans to withdraw all its combat troops by the end of the year.