Pakistan virtually ruled by US: Zawahiri

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{image-Al zahawri_11082008.jpg}Islamabad, Aug 11: al Qaeda No 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri has criticised Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf in a video tape released on Sunday, Aug 10 evening for playing in the hands of the Americans and compromising with Pakistan's sovereignty by allowing US' intelligence agencies to operate from its soil. "Musharraf 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," Zawahiri was quoted as saying in the fresh tape apparently recorded after February 18 polls in Pakistan.

He urged Pakistanis to rise up and fight the US or at least support the (Qaeda) insurgents. The hour-long tape having Zawahri's voice in English appealed to Pakistani soldiers to rethink their role in the fighting that has often pitted them against their countrymen, especially in the tribal regions. al-Zawahiri also mentioned last year's deadly military siege of the Lal Masjid in his voice-message which was released to the media.

Zawahiri claimed that Pakistan was being 'virtually ruled from the American Embassy'.

A foreign journalist familiar with Zawahiri's voice reviewed his past recordings and confirmed that the voice sounded like that of al-Zawahiri.

According to The News, it's not clear when the tape was recorded, but it includes apparently recent pictures of ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif and others in the ruling coalition, indicating that it was created after the February election that brought President Pervez Musharraf's foes to power.

In the tape aired on Sunday, Aug 10 on some TV channels, al-Zawahiri lists a litany of charges against Musharraf, who he said had betrayed Muslims by supporting the US after the Sept 11, 2001 attacks in its battle against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

He apologises for speaking 'the language of the Muslims' enemies' but notes he does not speak the 'charming' Pakistani Urdu language and that most Pakistanis do not know Arabic.


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