Srinagar: An al-Qaeda video exhorting Muslims of Kashmir to wage a jihad against India has questioned politics of “shutdowns, dialogues and resolutions”.
The 12-minute video released recently features a voiceover of one Maulana Asim Umar who in chaste Urdu asks Muslims of Kashmir why they “lost appetite for jihad” and started to believe in “hollow slogans of democracy, shutdowns, dialogues and resolutions.”
“Who replaced guns by mound of mud and stones? Who conspired against you that compelled you to leave the path of jihad and started to believe in hollow peaceful protests. Have these hollow slogans brought freedom to any nation?”
Maulana Umar, reportedly a leader of al-Qaida’s Pakistan cell, also questions pushing Kashmir’s movement “into a marsh of protests, shutdowns and resolutions” and vows that it will “fulfil the promises done with martyrs.”
The video titled “War should continue, message to Muslims of Kashmir” starts with visuals of 2010 street ‘intifida’ in the Valley and a silhouette of gunman standing against Dal Lake. It appeared on al-Qaeda’s As Sahab production, which in past carried statements of Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Maulana Umar also questions and seeks answers from people of Pakistan and both parts of Kashmir. “What happened to your resolution of fighting against Indian troops? Why is jihad forbidden today when it was obligatory till yesterday? Did it happen due to ‘Brahman’ magic or Pakistan establishment turned Kashmir as a thing of the past,” says Umar who had earlier appeared in a video impressing upon Indian Muslims to join “global jihad movement for the establishment of Islamic caliphate.”
The video also promises a “caravan” of “heroic martyrs” coming from Afghanistan to “liberate Kashmir”.
The emergence of video gains significance as NATO forces drawdown is near and experts have raised apprehension of “spillover” of Taliban from Afghanistan into the Valley. In 2013, al-Qaida chief Ayman Al-Zawhiri endorsed fighting against Indian forces in India. Pakistan Taliban too had signaled its intention to crossover to this part of Kashmir.
However, there seem to be no takers for al-Qaida’s ‘jihad’ call in Kashmir. Barring Dukhtaran-e-Millat chief Asiya Andrabi, leaders of the pro-freedom camp including Syed Ali Geelani distanced themselves from al-Qaida, Taliban and its associated groups.
“Gun is not the sole way to fight jihad. You can perform it through pen, money, or tongue. What we do here is cent percent jihad,” Geelani told Kashmir Reader on Tuesday.
Asiya Andrabi, on the other hand, wants al-Qaida to build a “roadmap” and take them into confidence before launching ‘jihad’ here. “They should prepare a roadmap first and shouldn’t impose their ideology. Also, taking us into confidence is must, otherwise it will lead to chaos,” she said.