A few days ago, ARY (a Pakistani network) ran an extremely truncated version of a lengthy audio tape of Zawahiri addressing Pakistanis in English. Yesterday, Sahab (the media production arm of al-Qaeda) released the full audio recording online (open the .pdf below for links). Here are the interesting bits:
- Zawahiri says at the beginning that he wants to address Pakistanis in Urdu, but he can’t speak the language. He is speaking English to communicate with them, even though it is the language of the enemy.
- Zawahiri’s attachment to Pakistan began in his childhood. His grandfather was the first to translate the poetry of Muhammad Iqbal into Arabic.
- Musharraf is a tool of the U.S.
- Pakistan made a “strategic blunder’ when it allowed the U.S. to install Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan since Karzai is friendly to India. Now, Pakistan has no “strategic depth” in the mountains of Afghanistan, which would be useful in a war with India.
- How can military officers and soldiers not be bothered by Musharraf’s strategic blunders? How can they not be bothered by killing fellow Muslims and Pakistanis? How can they not be troubled by their defeats at the hands of the mujahids?
- Until the mujahids in Kashmir free themselves of ISI influence, they won’t be able to liberate it.
- The new head of the Pakistani army, Kiyani, is also an enemy of Islam like his predecessor.
- Officers and soldiers in the Pakistani army are apostates if they fight against fellow mujahids. Zawahiri belabors this point a great deal.
- There are historical examples of Muslim resistance to British rule in the region, such as `Abd al-`Aziz, Ahmad Shahid, Isma`il Shahid, Shah `Abd al-Hayy, Shaykh al-Hind Mahmud al-Hasan, and his student Sayyid Husayn Ahmad Madani.
- Zawahiri invites Pakistanis to join the jihad. If they don’t rise up, Pakistan will become part of Greater Hindustan.
It may not come across in the summary, but Zawahiri directs a lot of his remarks to Pakistani military personnel to explain why they will have to be killed if they don’t disobey orders. Perhaps this is a prelude to an increase of violence in Pakistan against military installations and personnel outside the tribal regions. I better understand now why ARY cut most of the video.
If you’re interested in watching it, open the .pdf below and download it from one of the first two sections of links (the links below these are for an Urdu translation). The password is the long string of letters and numbers above the links.
Document (Arabic): 8-16-08-ekhlaas-complete-zawahiri-english-message-to-pakistan