New Delhi: India on Thursday dismissed Al Qaeda chief Ayman Al-Zawahiri's appeal to the 'mujahideen' in Kashmir to rain "unrelenting" blows on the Indian Army, saying the UN proscribed terrorist had been issuing such threats time and again and Indian security forces were fully capable of protecting the country.
A day after a video emerged of Zawahiri asking terrorists to "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", External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said he did "not want to dignify" what the Al Qaeda 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 Qaeda is a UN proscribed organisation, its leader is a UN designated terrorist and we all know that our Indian security forces have the capability and are equipped to tackle such threats and will not be cowed down," Kumar said at the weekly media briefing here.
"I don't want to dignify what he has said from this forum," he added.
In the 14-minute video, Zawahiri stressed that the jihad in Kashmir should aim to establish sharia or Islamic law. He also said that 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".
"After achieving this liberation," Zawahiri says, "the mujahideen must plan their jihad by taking free and independent decisions that are guided by the principles of sharia."
In a September 2014 video, Zawahiri, an Egyptian doctor, had called on Muslims across India to join a newly-formed branch -- Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent or AQIS, and also called for the establishment of Islamic rule in the Indian subcontinent.