Al Qaeda's chief has called on jihadists in Kashmir to launch unrelenting blows against India as he also attacked Pakistan's army, saying it could not be trusted to liberate the territory.

Ayman al-Zawahiri used a video statement to call militants to wage attacks “to bleed the Indian economy and make India suffer sustained losses in manpower and equipment”.

The statement was an attempt by the group to stake a claim to Islamist jihad in South Asia after competition from Islamic State and other groups, analysts suggested.

Militant groups have fought troops in Indian-administered Kashmir for decades, but violence has increased in recent years as Delhi has waged a heavy-handed crackdown against protestors.

Read more: The Telegraph (UK)