Bilour iterates bounty offer

Bilour iterates bounty offer

Tabilan removes Pakistan ministers name from hit list

A Pakistani minister at the centre of a controversy for offering a reward to anyone who kills the maker of an anti-Islam film has said he will place a bounty on the head of any person who commits blasphemy in future.

Railway Minister Ghulam Ahmed Bilour said he stood by his offer of a bounty of $100,000 for the killing of the maker of ‘Innocence Of Muslims’.  Addressing a meeting at the Muhabbat Khan mosque in Peshawar on Wednesday, Bilour said he was not be deterred by criticism of his action by western nations. Bilour, a senior leader of the secular and liberal Awami National Party, said he would announce a reward on the head of anyone who blasphemes against Islam in future.

The Pakistan government has distanced itself from the minister's action, saying it does not reflect official policy. His own party has denounced his action with an ANP MP, Bushra Gouhar terming it ‘criminal’.

Other parties in Pakistan's ruling coalition have demanded that Bilour withdraw the bounty offer and the US and the European Union have condemned the move.

Conservative MPs in Britain have asked authorities to bar Bilour from the country. Bilour and his brother often travel to Britain and spend time at family properties there, the British media said.

Bilour said the Prime Minister had not sought his resignation and the ANP had not issued him any show cause notice over the bounty. He said: “I don’t care for a ban on my entry to any country, including Britain, over the bounty issue.” He said he did not want a confrontation with any religion or country, but said it was “unfair” for the West to defend the blasphemous movie under the "freedom of expression".If the US and Britain frame laws against blasphemy, it will save the world from terrorism. After Bilour offered the bounty, the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) lauded his act and said militants had decided to remove his name from their ‘hit list’.