The Straits Times
Published on Sep 25, 2012

Pakistan minister stands by film-maker bounty


ISLAMABAD (AFP) - A Pakistani government minister who offered US$100,000 (S$125,000) for the death of a film-maker who produced an anti-Islam movie on Tuesday stood by the bounty, saying it was the "only way" to stop insults to the Prophet Muhammad.

Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmed Bilour sparked international condemnation when he offered the blood money and urged the Taleban and Al-Qaeda to carry out what he called the "noble deed".

The Pakistan government and Mr Bilour's own party have distanced themselves from the reward for the person behind the crudely-made Innocence Of Muslims, which has sparked violent protests across the Islamic world.

But Mr Bilour insisted public opinion was behind him in Pakistan - which has seen dozens of protests against the film including nationwide rallies on Friday that ended in bloodshed and looting, with 21 people killed.