MEA downplays Al-Qaida chief’s threat on Kashmir
Downplaying Al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri’s call to terror groups in Kashmir to inflict “unrelenting blows” on the Army and ensure that India suffer sustained loss of manpower and equipment, the government today said the terror group banned by the United Nations (UN) had been issuing such threats now and then and security forces were capable of dealing with such threats.
In response to the al Zawahiri’s video message focusing on Kashmir, which surfaced yesterday, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said he did “not want to dignify” what the Al-Qaida terrorist had said.“Such threats we keep listening to, and have been issued time and again. I don’t think we should take it seriously. The Al-Qaida is a UN proscribed organisation, its leader is a UN designated terrorist and we all know our security forces have the capability and are equipped to tackle such threats and will not be cowed down,” he said.
The al Zawahiri’s video was posted by the Al-Qaida’s media wing As Sahab. Officials in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said they also had come a across the video and found it to be genuine.“But, at the moment, we are not sure about the timing of its being made public, as it was reported by the Long War Journal run by US-based think-tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies on Tuesday,” a senior MHA official said.
In the major part of 14.32-minute video, al Zawahiri focused on criticising Pakistan and its “disgraceful” army for its “double game”. As per the transcript, he is reported to have said, the mujahideen must “liberate the Kashmiri jihad from the clutches of Pakistan’s intelligence agencies” so that the jihad was “for the sake of Allah”, as opposed to a struggle “for the sake of international criminals”.
I am of the view that the Mujahideen (armed terrorists) in Kashmir should focus with single mind on inflicting unrelenting blows on the Army and government so as to bleed the Indian economy and make India suffer sustained losses in manpower and equipment.— Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al-Qaida chief
Such threats we keep listening to… I don’t think we should take it seriously… our security forces have the capability and are equipped to tackle such threats and will not be cowed down. — Raveesh Kumar, MEA spokesperson