Pak distances itself from minister`s anti-Islam film bounty offer
Islamabad: The Pakistan government today made it clear that one of its minister`s offer of a bounty of USD 100,000 for the maker of an anti-Islam film did not represent official policy but did not say whether any action would be taken against him.
Foreign Office spokesman Moazzam Khan said Railway Minister Ghulam Ahmed Bilour`s announcement of a bounty for the maker of the offensive anti-Islam film "was representative of Mr Bilour`s personal views and had nothing to do with the official policy of the government of Pakistan".
Bilour`s statement did not represent official policy, Khan said in a brief statement.
The statement did not say whether any action would be taken against Bilour, who had called on Taliban and al-Qaeda to help in the "noble cause" of killing the film`s maker.
The minister, who belongs to the secular Awami National Party, triggered a storm on Saturday by announcing the bounty during a news conference in the northwestern city of Peshawar.
He repeated his offer while speaking on a TV news channel and did not change his position despite criticism from other leaders of his own party.
The government has been at pains to distance itself from Bilour`s remarks, which have made the headlines in the US at a time when President Asif Ali Zardari is visiting New York to attend the UN General Assembly session.
Talking to reporters last night, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said Bilour`s comments were an "expression of his own personal feelings and the government has nothing to do with it".
While addressing the media in Peshawar on Saturday, Bilour said: "I announce today that this blasphemer, this sinner who has spoken nonsense about the holy Prophet ? anyone who murders him, I will reward him with 100,000 dollars."
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