Congress leader and former union minister Manish Tewari described the development as "extremely worrying" and said the government must take cognizance of it. Leading strategic expert Commodore C. Uday Bhaskar said: "What the video is saying is not very new. The Al Qaeda propaganda from 2001 onwards was making the same exhortation to encourage the more empathetic constituency to support Al Qaeda. Osama bin Laden had also made a reference to Al Hind."
What is relevant in the new Al Qaeda video is its timing, says Bhaskar, who is the director of Society for Policy Studies think tank.
He said the video has come when Sunni jihadist group Islamic State is making news and gathering followers with its brutal activities in Syria and Iraq. "The Al Qaeda and Zawahiri are trying to position themselves as credible alternatives to the Islamic State," the expert said. The video also comes days ahead of the anniversary of the 9/11 carnage. "Both groups are trying to claim a certain profile to attract disenchanted youth to follow their ideology," Bhaskar said. The Al Qaeda announcement comes at a time when the group faces challenges from the increasingly aggressive Islamic State that has taken control of a large swathe of territory in Iraq and in Syria too. BBC quoted counter-terrorism experts as saying that Al Qaeda was vying with Islamic State to recruit followers worldwide. Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi describes himself as a "caliph" - or head of state - and has called for support of Muslims from around the world. BBC also said Pakistani militants linked to Islamic State have distributed pamphlets in Peshawar asking people to support their idea of creating an Islamic caliphate.