Pak minister vows to offer more bounties for future blasphemers against Islam

Peshawar, Sept. 30: Pakistan Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmed Bilour, who had announced a bounty on the maker of the anti-Islam film, remains undeterred by scathing criticism from several quarters over the offer, saying he would announce head money for anyone who blasphemes Islam.

Bilour, who belongs to the liberal Awami National Party (ANP), said it was unfair on the part of the West to defend the sacrilegious movie as “freedom of expression”, reports The Express Tribune.

Bilour came under criticism from Western countries as well as others in Pakistan for his 100,000 dollars bounty for the Israeli-American filmmaker.

However, the bounty offer earned him “goodwill” of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), who praised him and removed him from their “hit list”.

Bilour was, however, unmoved by the TTP decision, and said he did not fear death as he believes “only God decides how and when someone will die”.

Bilour also called upon the United Nations to criminalise blasphemy against Islam.

The government and Bilour’s own party have disowned the bounty offer. However, Bilour informed the gathering that he attended a recent meeting of the federal cabinet, where no one objected to his bounty offer.

“Neither the prime minister contacted me on the matter nor did my party issue me any show cause notice,” he said.

Right-wingers and religious parties have praised Bilour for his “bold” stand on the issue. The Tehrik-e-Khatam-e-Nabuwat announced a ‘Tamgha-e-Shujat’ (Medal of bravery) for Bilour to show its support for him. The award will be presented to him at a conference to be held in Peshawar in the next few days. (ANI)