Al Qaeda terrorist Ayman al-Zawahiri has, in a video released by the global terror outfit, called for "Mujahideen in Kashmir" to inflict "unrelenting blows" on the Indian Army and the government in Jammu and Kashmir. In the video message titled "Don't Forget Kashmir", the terror chief has also talked about Pakistan's involvement in fueling cross-border terrorism 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 says, an assault rifle on his right and a Quran to his left.
While Zawahiri does not mention Zakir Musa, the terrorist killed in May by security forces in Kashmir, his photo flashes on the screen as he speaks on Kashmir. Zakir Musa was the founder of the Indian cell of the Al Qaeda, titled "Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind". Al Qaeda has been preparing the upstart group for attacks on security forces in Kashmir.
Zawahiri calls Pakistan's army and government as "toadies of America" and says terrorists should avoid falling in Pakistan's trap.
"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 says.
Pakistan's "conflict with India is essentially a secular rivalry over borders managed by the American intelligence," the Qaeda chief says. The words have led to some experts suggesting the involvement of the Pakistani ISI in putting out the video to show that it is not supporting terror.
Zawahiri also says the "fight in Kashmir" is not a separate conflict but part of the worldwide Muslim community's "jihad against a vast array of forces". He called on "unnamed" scholars to propagate 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 says.
Zawahiri also tells 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.