Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahari in a video message has asked Kashmir-based terrorist groups to focus on inflicting “unrelenting blows” on the Indian Army and the government so as to “bleed” the economy and make the country suffer, reported news agency PTI.
Zawahari, who took over the reins of al Qaeda after the death of Osama bin Laden, said, “I am of the view that the Mujahideen (armed terrorists) in Kashmir — at this stage at least — should focus with single mind on inflicting unrelenting blows on the Indian Army and government so as to bleed the Indian economy and make India suffer sustained losses in manpower and equipment.”
PTI quoted officials as saying that the video was being checked by the security agencies who believed that it was an attempt to unite the disgruntled terrorist ranks in the valley.
The video, posted on ‘As-Sahab’ channel, in-house production of al Qaeda used to relay the organisation’s views to the world, also asked the terrorists “to establish stronger channels of communication with their Muslim brethren all over the world”.
In the video, as Zawahiri speaks on Kashmir, a picture of Zakir Musa also flashes on the screen. Musa was killed in May by security forces in Kashmir. He was the founder of the Indian cell of the al Qaeda, titled “Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind”.
The al Qaeda chief also warned the terrorists not to fall into the trap of Pakistan, which he termed as a puppet of the US. He said Pakistan’s “conflict with India is essentially a secular rivalry over borders managed by the American intelligence”.
“All the Pakistani Army and government are interested in exploiting the mujahideen for specific political objectives, only to dump or persecute them later,” Zawahiri said.
Zawahiri also said the “fight in Kashmir” was not a separate conflict but part of the worldwide Muslim community’s “jihad against a vast array of forces”.
Warning Pakistan’s intelligence agencies, which he termed as America’s primary tool in Pakistan, he called on “unnamed” scholars to propagate this point.
(With inputs from PTI)