Al-Qaeda statement on Kashmir handiwork of Pakistan’s ISI: Intel agencies

The intelligence agencies apprehend that Al Qaeda’s recent statement on global jihad that included Kashmir, was made on the behest of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).

A day after the last contingent of the US army left Afghanistan in the intervening night of August 30-31, the Al Qaeda issued a statement in which it called for “a global jihad to liberate Islamic lands” including Kashmir.

Congratulating the Taliban for taking full control of the country after the US exit, the Al-Qaeda said, “Liberate the Levant, Somalia, Yemen, Kashmir and the rest of the Islamic lands from the clutches of the enemies of Islam. O’ Allah! Grant freedom to Muslim prisoners across the world.”

The inclusion of Kashmir was quite alarming as it was never on the agenda of the Taliban in the past, the sources said, adding that this will boost the morale of terror groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen based in Pakistan.

Officials in the security agencies have been analyzing the Al Qaeda statement which was quite worrisome not only for India but also in many parts of central Asia and Pakistan, the sources said.

That the statement did not mention Chechnya in Russia and China’s Xinjiang among targets of “liberation” through jihad was quite significant and that also indicated Pakistan’s hand behind the statement, they added.

Despite the fact that Indian security forces are on high alert on the border with Pakistan and also fully prepared to deal with any situation in Jammu and Kashmir even if the ultras get Taliban captured US weapons, this has created a worrisome situation, a senior official in the security forces said.

The government has also taken this matter seriously and the officials of the Union Home Ministry have discussed the situation threadbare with all stakeholders.

“There has been indication that Pakistan based terror outfits like Lashkar-e Taiba, and Jaishe-e Mohammad have stepped up their efforts to push their ultras into Jammu and Kashmir soon after the Taliban took over Afghanistan”, the official added.

According to him, the launch pads in Pakistan have been humming with activity near the border indicating an increase in planning for infiltration. These launch pads were abandoned after a ceasefire was announced in February this year and as per the latest input, over 300 terrorists have again occupied these camps across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.