Monday, Aug 11, 2008
Pakistan’s embattled president, Pervez Musharraf, faced a direct challenge from al-Qaida today, with the terror group lambasting his record in a new video.
A person said to be the al-Qaida deputy leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, spoke in English on the tape, calling for an uprising not only against Musharraf but the Pakistani state, which he said was “virtually ruled from the American embassy”.
Pakistan’s parliament meets today at the start of a special session for impeachment proceedings against Musharraf. The government has not yet released its charge sheet against the president but al-Qaida spelled out its grievances in the tape.
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“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,” said Zawahiri.
Zawahiri denounced Musharraf in particular for the crackdown he ordered on Islamabad’s radical Red Mosque – the army raid last year resulted in around 100 deaths – and his treatment of the renegade Pakistani nuclear scientist Dr AQ Khan, who has been under house arrest for four years.
This article was posted: Monday, August 11, 2008 at 1:18 pm