This is the first time Zawahiri has issued a video specific to Kashmir.
A senior government official said it seemed to be an act of desperation on the part of the outfit in the wake of recent action by security agencies in Kashmir Valley.
The video was posted on the As-Sahab channel, an in-house production of al-Qaeda. While Zawahiri did not mention Zakir Musa, a terrorist killed in May by security forces in Kashmir, his photo flashed on the screen. Musa was the founder of the Indian cell of al-Qaeda, titled “Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind.” The al-Qaeda chief warned terrorists not to fall into the trap of Pakistan, which he termed a puppet of the U.S.
“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.
He said Pakistan’s “conflict with India is essentially a secular rivalry over borders managed by the American intelligence.”
Zawahiri also said 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.
He warned that Pakistan’s intelligence agencies, which he termed America’s primary tool in Pakistan, will try to prevent the Mujahideen from doing so, so that they remain under their control forever as a political bargaining chip.