Al-Qaida’s second in command Ayman al-Zawahri urged Muslims to help Pakistan’s earthquake victims despite the country’s close ties to the United States.
He was speaking in a video aired on Al Jazeera television on Sunday in which he sat next to an assault rifle.
“I call on all Muslims and Islamic charity organizations in particular to go to Pakistan and give a lending hand to the victims there,” Zawahri said on the tape. "We all know that (President Pervez) Musharraf's government is an agent of the United States but despite that I call on all Muslims to run to the help of their brothers in Pakistan."
Zawahri and al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, believed to be hiding in the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan, have eluded capture since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, carried out by al-Qaida.
The Oct. 8 earthquake has killed more than 53,000 in northern Pakistan with more than 75,000 seriously injured.