Qaeda figure urges Pakistanis to rebel against govt
DUBAI (Reuters) - A top al Qaeda commander has called on Pakistanis to rise up against the government of the nuclear-armed power where Taliban militants are fighting the army, according to a message on Islamist websites on Thursday.
The 29-page article by Abu Yahya al-Libi, who is thought to be in Afghanistan and Pakistan, was dated mid-March. Pakistan's army has been trying to fight back al Qaeda's Taliban allies who have taken control of areas close to the capital Islamabad in north Pakistan.
"Muslims in Pakistan, and especially their clerics, should prepare themselves and rise up to perform the duty ... of fighting the Pakistani army and the rest of the apparatus that are the pillars of their tyrannical state," al-Libi wrote.
"The criminals in the Pakistani government and its army have not only been a cover for the occupying crusader infidels in Afghanistan, they have directly helped them in committing all their crimes in Afghanistan and elsewhere," he said.
U.S. lawmakers plan to accelerate the flow of more than $400 million (271 billion pounds) in aid to Pakistan to help with counter-insurgency operations. The United States is also giving $1.4 billion in economic aid for Islamabad.
Al-Libi frequently issues messages on behalf of al Qaeda which appears to be grooming him as a spokesman since he escaped from a U.S. jail in Afghanistan in 2005.
(Reporting by Andrew Hammond; editing by Richard Balmforth)
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