Hindu Vivek Kendra
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'Pervez will flee, hand over Pak to India'

'Pervez will flee, hand over Pak to India'

Author: PTI, Reuters
Publication: The Asian Age
Date: September 30, 2003

In a new audio tape released by terror mastermind Osama Bin Laden's group, the Al Qaeda has appealed to Pakistani soldiers to "topple" President Pervez Musharraf or he will "hand over" them to the Hindus.

The tape aired by the Qatar-based Al Jazeera Arabic TV channel showed Bin Laden's principal spokesman, Ayman Al Zawahiri telling Pakistani officers and soldiers that the President would "hand you over to the Hindus and flee to enjoy his secret bank accounts" if India attacked their country.

Al-Zawahiri also condemned Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's recent visit to India, saying the agreements signed were "a drop in the ocean of the American-Jewish-Indian alliance against Muslims." Zawahiri said President Musharraf helped the United States to topple the Taliban government in Afghanistan in the October 2001 invasion that killed thousands of innocents in the war- torn country.

During the broadcast on Sunday, the Al Qaeda spokesman also claimed the Pakistani President was seeking to recognise Israel and send troops to Iraq in a bid to gain full American approval.

"Musharraf...is seeking to send Pakistani forces to Iraq so that they, rather than American soldiers, are killed and so that they kill Muslims in Iraq and enable America to control Muslim lands," the Al Jazeera tape said. Zwahiri said in the tape that Washington would not reward President Musharraf for his services and cited Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat as "a living example" of what happens to "traitors." "He gave Israel and America all that they asked for. But despite this, they are now incarcerating him in his office (in the West Bank town of Ramallah)... and lately decided to expel him." Although the CIA has described the recording as "probably authentic", Al Jazeera said it did not know when the tape was recorded. But the remarks were replete with references to recent events such as Sharon's September visit to India and developments in Iraq and the Palestinian territories.

Al-Zawahiri also said that Osama Bin Laden and Taliban's Mulla Muhammad Umar were both alive.

The outburst against President Musharraf, observers said, is strikingly similar to attacks on the Pakistani leader in another Al-Zawahiri audio tape broadcast on the eve of the second anniversary of September 11 terror attacks on US.

Meanwhile, Pakistan dismissed on Monday a threat against its president by Al Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahri, and said that the war against "terrorism" would continue.

Arabic satellite television broadcast an audio tape purporting to come from Zawahri on Sunday in which he urged Pakistanis to overthrow President Pervez Musharraf for "betraying" Islam.

"Al Qaeda is a terrorist organisation," Masood Khan, foreign ministry spokesman, told a press conference.

"Pakistan is part of the war on terrorism and the pursuit of terrorists, Al Qaeda and their associates will continue despite these threats," he added. It was not possible to verify the authenticity of the tape, in which the speaker also urged Muslims around the world to fight what Zawahri called the Christian- Zionist crusade "aimed at eradicating Islam and Muslims."

"Muslims in Pakistan must unite to oust this traitor and put in place a loyal leadership in Pakistan which defends Islam and Muslims," the speaker said. Mr Khan said the purpose of the tape was to deliberately mislead Pakistanis and Muslims about President Musharraf, who was a "bridge" between the Islamic world and the West. "We won't be deterred, and I want to add that the president of Pakistan is fighting for the Muslim Ummah (nation) and he is fast becoming a symbol of Muslim unity," Mr Khan said.

The voice on the tape blasted the Pakistani President for aiding Washington in its war in Afghanistan against Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

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