NEW DELHI: Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri has, in a video released by the global terror group, called for “Mujahideen in Kashmir” to inflict “unrelenting blows” on the Indian Army and the government in Jammu and Kashmir, according to the Foundation for Defence of Democracies” (FDD) Long War Journal.
Zawahiri has also brought to light Pakistan’s involvement in fuellng cross-border terrorism in Kashmir in his message titled “Don’t Forget Kashmir,” released by As Shabab.
Thomas Joscelyn, in his article for the journal, wrote that Al Qaeda has been grooming an upstart group to wage jihad against the Indian forces in Kashmir.
“(I am)of the view that the Mujahideen in Kashmir – at this stage at least- should single-mindedly focus 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,” Zawahiri, dressed in white, says.
While Zawahiri does not mention Zakir Musa, the terrorist killed in May by security forces in Kashmir, his photo flashes on the screen as Zawahiri speaks on Kashmir. Zakir Musa was the founder of the Indian cell of the Al Qaeda, titled “Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind”.
Zawahiri called both the Pakistani Army and government as “toadies of America” in his message.
With an assault rifle on his right and a Quran to his left, Zawahiri compares the policy of Pakistan on Kashmir to that of the Taliban and migrant terrorists.
He claimed that Pakistan prevented the “Arab Mujahideen” from “heading to Kashmir after expelling the Russians from Afghanistan.”
“All the Pakistani Army and government are interested in is exploiting the mujahideen for specific political objectives, only to dump or persecute them later,” Zawahiri claimed.
Pakistan’s “conflict with India is essentially a secular rivalry over borders managed by the American intelligence,” said the Qaeda chief.
Zawahiri also claimed that the “fight in Kashmir” is not a separate conflict but instead is part of the worldwide Muslim community’s “jihad against a vast array of forces”. He called on “unnamed” scholars to spread this point.
“You (the scholars) must clearly state that supporting the jihad in Kashmir, the Philippines, Chechnya, Central Asia, Iraq, Syria, the Arabian Peninsula, Somalia, the Islamic Maghreb and Turkistan is an individual obligation on all Muslims, until sufficient strength is achieved to expel the disbelieving occupier from Muslim lands,” he said.
Zawahiri also told terrorists not to target “mosques, markets, and gathering places of Muslims” in Kashmir.
Intelligence agencies believe the Qaeda video is prompted by the government’s success in checking terror incidents in Jammu and Kashmir and isolating separatists.
“There has been a fall in terror attacks and a rise in the killing of terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir. The video is an attempt to motivate terror cadre,” a home ministry official said.