Islamabad, Sep 23 (IANS) The Pakistan government has condemned a minister’s announcement of a $100,000 reward for killing the filmmaker of an anti-Islam US film, Dawn reported Sunday.
The movie’s 14-minute trailer posted on YouTube has evoked protests in various parts of the country and the Muslim world.
Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf’s spokesperson Shafqat Jalil told the BBC the government “absolutely disassociated” itself from comments by Railway Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour.
The film, produced in the US, has led to a wave of angry protests in the Muslim world and many deaths.
The bounty offer came a day after at least 20 died in clashes in Pakistan. Friday’s violence, which saw protestors pitted against armed police, occurred in cities throughout Pakistan. The port city of Karachi and Peshawar in the northwest region were among the worst hit.
In his announcement Saturday, Pakistani minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour said: “I will pay whoever kills the makers of this video $100,000. If someone else makes other similar blasphemous material in the future, I will also pay his killers $100,000.”
“I call upon these countries and say: Yes, freedom of expression is there, but you should make laws regarding people insulting our Prophet. And if you don’t, then the future will be extremely dangerous.”
The minister even sought the help of Taliban and Al Qaeda in killing the filmmaker.
His Awami National Party (ANP) party, which is part of the ruling coalition government in Pakistan, said this was a personal statement, not a party policy. He, however, added that it would not take any action against him.