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India strong enough to thwart al-Qaida: Arun Jaitley

Monday, 16 June 2014 - 6:25am IST | Agency: DNA

Amidst Al Qaida's call for jihad in Kashmir, defence minister Arun Jaitley exuded confidence that the strength of India is considerable enough not to allow such elements to foment trouble in India. "I am reasonably confident that the strength of India as a state not to allow such elements to foment trouble in India is considerable. 

Even though I am optimistic, there is an element of caution in my optimism because people inimical to India, as the example you just gave, will try to foment trouble," Jaitley told reporters here. The defence minister also maintained that they will wait to see how situation develops (after US pullout from Afghanistan). "I am confident that our security forces would be in a position to repudiate any such attempts if these are made," he said.

Jaitley's remarks came a day after media reported that Al Qaida has released a video calling upon the Muslims in Kashmir to wage jihad against Indianauthorities which sparked fresh fears of renewed violence in the state after the US forces leaves Afghanistan this year. Entitled "War should continue, message to the Muslims of Kashmir", the video features the statement of Al Qaeda commander Moulana Asim Umar.

The video was uploaded on a website, which is often used by leaders of Al Qaida and its affiliates to release their statements. Moulana Asim Umar has threatened that a caravan (of heroic martyrs) is coming to "liberate Kashmir".

The video has surfaced at a time when US pullout from Afghanistan is starting later this year.

This is for the first time that Al Qaida has made direct reference to Kashmir. Earlier, however, separatists have always dismissed reports that Al Qaida has role in Kashmir. "We are collecting the details about the video to assess the threats," said a senior security official.


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