Al-Zawahiri attacks Musharraf

Pakistan's ARY shows first-ever English language tape by Al-Qaeda's deputy leader.

    Al-Zawahiri was rumoured to have died in a missile attack in Pakistan [AFP]

    Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan's atomic bomb who is under house arrest for transferring nuclear secrets to Iran, Libya and North Korea, is described by him as a "scapegoat to appease the Americans".

    "Let there be no doubt in your minds that the dominant political forces at work in Pakistan today are competing to appease and please the modern day Crusaders in the White House, and are working to  destabilise this nuclear capable nation under the aegis of America," al-Zawahiri said.

    ARY said that parts of the tape were withheld because they were too sensitive.

    Mazhar Abbas, the deputy director of ARY One, said: "Some portions of the video were not telecast due to sensitivities and personal attacks.

    'Language of the enemies'

    The Egyptian-born al-Zawahiri said he wanted to speak directly to the Pakistani people and chose English - "the language of the Muslims' enemies ... because he cannot speak Urdu".

    Al-Zawahiri was briefly rumored to have died in a July 28 missile strike in Pakistan, but US intelligence and Pakistan's Taliban movement denied the reports.

    Al-Qaeda in a statement posted on a website acknowledged that the missile attack instead killed Abu Khabab al-Masri, described as the network's chemical and biological weapons specialist.

    Al-Zawahiri has been indicted for his alleged role in the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya.

    The FBI has offered a reward of up to US$25m for information leading to his arrest or conviction.

    Military address

    Al-Zawahiri said A Q Khan was made a 'scapegoat' to please the US[AFP]

    Much of Al-Zawahiri's hour-long address was an appeal to Pakistani soldiers to rethink their role in the fighting that has often pitted them against their countrymen, especially in the northwest tribal regions.

    "[President] Pervez has insulted and compromised Pakistan's sovereignty by allowing the CIA and FBI to operate freely in Pakistan and arrest, interrogate, torture, deport and detain any person, whether Pakistani or not, for as long as they like, thus turning the Pakistani army and security agencies into hunting dogs in the contemporary crusade," the tape allegedly said.

    "Every soldier and officer should absolutely disobey any order to kill Muslims or aid their killers.

    Al-Zawahri singled out General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Pakistan's army chief, as a "hostile enemy of Islam".

    The video, which features clips of interviews given by Musharraf, footage of him giving speeches and other segments, was delivered to ARY by a man on a motorbike on Sunday, according to Faizullah Khan, a reporter for the channel.

    The tape's release comes amid US pressure on the Pakistani government to do more to eliminate Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters in its tribal regions bordering Afghanistan.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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