(ISLAMABAD) — Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Sunday distanced his administration from one government official offering to pay $100,000 out of his own pocket to kill the person responsible for an anti-Islam movie made in the U.S. that has inflamed the Muslim world.
Innocence of Muslims, which was produced by Coptic Christian Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, touched off riots in dozens of countries, leading to about 20 deaths in Pakistan alone as demonstrators have clashed with security forces trying to maintain peace.
Over the weekend, Pakistani minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour said, “I will pay whoever kills the makers of this video $100,000. If someone else makes other similar blasphemous material in the future, I will also pay his killers $100,000.”
The minister, a member of the Awami National Party, which insisted it was Bilour’s personal statement, said he’d seek the help of the Taliban or al Qaeda in helping to track down and kill Nakoula, a California resident now in hiding.
A spokesman for the prime minister said on Sunday that the government is “absolutely disassociated” from Bilour’s bounty.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Ralph Ellis and Steve Almasy, CNN
Barbie Latza Nadeau, Livia Borghese and Joshua Berlinger, CNN
Billy Hallowell, Deseret News