Dubai: Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri has
called on Pakistanis to revolt against their government and
military in a video posted on the Internet today, US monitors
In a 10-minute speech uploaded to jihadist forums,
Zawahiri argued that the Pakistani authorities only
represented US interests, according to a statement from SITE
Zawahiri, shown standing in front of a green curtain,
urged Pakistanis to follow the example of the Arab Spring as
the military could not be expected to turn against America
despite a deadly US strike on Pakistani troops in November.
"O our brothers in Pakistan! O our people in Pakistan!
This treacherous Army and bribe-taking government have
plundered your wealth," he said in the video.
"They have ruined your economy and destroyed your world as
well as your hereafter. What then are you waiting for?
"Take a lead from your brothers in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya,
Yemen and Syria who are standing up against oppression and
oppressors with their bare chests exposed and offering
sacrifices so that victory may be ordained for then."
Zawahiri also said that unless its demands were met,
al Qaeda would not release an elderly American development
expert who was captured in Pakistan last August.
"By the grace of Allah, we, on our part, have captured the
American Jew Warren Weinstein.
"He will not return to his family, by the will of Allah,
until our demands are met, which include the release of Aafia
Siddiqui, Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman, the family of Shaikh Osama
bin Laden, and every single person arrested on allegations of
links with al Qaeda and Taliban."
Long al Qaeda`s number two, Zawahiri took over the helm of
the group after bin Laden was killed in May 2011 in a US
special forces night raid deep in Pakistan.
The video is the latest of a number in which the militant
chief has attempted to exploit the Arab uprisings.
al Qaeda has been absent from the popular protests that
swept the Arab world last year, leading to the ouster of
autocratic, secular leaders in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, and
sparking unrest elsewhere.