23 Sep 2012

Pakistan minister offers bounty on film-maker

2:28 pm on 23 September 2012

Pakistan's coalition government has distanced itself from the comments by a minister calling for the killing of the maker of an internet video mocking Islam.

Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour has offered a reward for the death of the maker of the film, produced in the United States.

He says he will pay $US100,000 out of his own pocket for what he called the sacred duty.

His ANP party, which is part of the governing coalition, said this was a personal statement, not party policy, but added that it would not be taking any action against him.

The minister's comments came a day after at least 20 people died in clashes between anti-film protesters and the police in Pakistan's major cities.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf told the BBC the government absolutely disassociated itself from comments by Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour.

The exact origins of Innocence of Muslims, the low-budget film that has prompted the unrest, are unclear.

The alleged producer of the film's trailer, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, said to be a Coptic Christian, has been under police protection in California since protests erupted in Muslim countries around the world over YouTube clips from the film.