Pakistan condemns minister's $100,000 Mohamed film bounty

Islamabad distances itself from reward for anyone who kills the makers of video

Pakistani authorities were yesterday trying to distance themselves from comments by a minister who has offered a $100,000 (£62,000) bounty for anyone who kills the maker of the anti-Islamic film that has triggered outrage across the Muslim world.

A day after last Friday's government-organised "peace protests" that left 21 people dead and more than 200 injured, the country's Railways Minister, Ghulam Ahmed Bilour, invited members of the Taliban and al-Qa'ida to take part in what he said would be a "noble deed". Given the chance, he added, he himself would kill the man behind the controversial film.

The latest country to see protests against the film was Bangladesh, where thousands of activists on Saturday clashed with police who used batons and tear gas to clear an unauthorised demonstration. There were further, smaller protests in the Muslim-majority nation yesterday after a national strike was called – this time to protest about the police treatment doled out to those who had demonstrated on Saturday.

In Pakistan, the government, which had announced that Friday would be a national holiday in order to allow people to hold peaceful protests against the film, Innocence of Muslims, said that the minister's comments did not represent official policy. The minister is a member of the Awami National Party, which is a member of the ruling coalition, but not the Pakistan People's Party of President Asif Ali Zardari.

"This is not government policy. We completely dissociate [ourselves] from this," Shafqat Jalil, a spokesman for Prime Minister, Raja Pervez Ashraf, told the Agence France-Presse.

On Saturday evening, the minister had told a press conference that he wanted the film-maker, 55-year-old California man, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, to be killed. "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," he said.

Mr Nakoula's film has sparked protests around the world and he has not returned to his home in the Los Angeles suburb of Cerritos since leaving voluntarily to be interviewed by US federal authorities. His family has since gone into hiding.

Saturday's clash in Bangladesh erupted after protesters from a coalition of 12 Islamist parties tried to hold a rally in Dhaka, the capital, despite a 24-hour ban on gatherings in the area, according to the police. Reports said that hundreds of protesters attacked policemen, set fire to a motorcycle and damaged a police van.

The spokesman for Pakistan's Prime Minister said there would be discussion about the Railways Minister's comments but that for now he remained in his position. "The minister is playing cold, cynical politics. His announcement of a bounty is not too implementable but he will capture the right-wing vote," Raza Rumi, a commentator and a director of the Jinnah Institute in Islamabad, said.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Sport
Robin van Persie leaves the field at the King Power Stadium last Sunday
football
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch as John Watson and Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock
tv

Co-creator Mark Gatiss dropped some very intriguing hints ahead of the BBC drama's return next year

News
In this photo illustration, the Twitter logo and hashtag '#Ring!' is displayed on a mobile device as the company announced its initial public offering and debut on the New York Stock Exchange on November 7, 2013 in London, England. Twitter went public on the NYSE opening at USD 26 per share, valuing the company's worth at an estimated USD 18 billion.
news

News
people

London 'needs affordable housing'

Arts and Entertainment
music Band accidentally drops four-letter description at concert
Life and Style
tech
News
peopleIan Thorpe addresses Ricky Martin rumours
Arts and Entertainment
'Africa' will be Angelina Jolie's fifth film as a director
film

Mr and Mrs Smith star admits she's 'never been comfortable on-screen'

Arts and Entertainment
Australia singer Iggy Azalea has been attacked by Eminem in a new rap
music

Singer was ordered not to 'blow her rape whistle' in song 'Vegas'

Extras
indybest
News
Myleene Klass
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Customer Services Advisor

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This organisation is a global m...

Ashdown Group: Junior SQL DBA - London - £39,000

£37000 - £39000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: SQL Database Administrato...

Recruitment Genius: Business Administrator

£7 - £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This donor management company are lookin...

Investigo: IT Auditor

£60000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits : Investigo: A global leading travel busi...

Day In a Page

US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

Immigration: Obama's final frontier

The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

You know that headache you’ve got?

Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

Frank Warren column

Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines