U.S. bans Pakistani minister over bounty on anti-Islam filmmaker’s head

U.S. bans Pakistani minister over bounty on anti-Islam filmmaker’s head
# 09 November 2012 17:23 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. The United States has banned a Pakistani minister from visiting the United States over his announcement of 100,000 U.S. dollars bounty on the head of the maker of an anti-Islam movie, which had sparked condemnation across the Muslim World, local media reported Friday, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

Minister for Railways Ghulam Ahmad Bilour announced in September that he would give the award to anyone who kills the maker of the movie "Innocence of Muslims" which was made in the United States.

The Pakistani government had disowned remarks by the minister but Bilour said he will not withdraw his announcement. He had also urged Taliban to carry out what he had called a "noble deed."

Local media reported Friday that the U.S. embassy in Islamabad has cancelled visas of Bilour and his wife, and banned them from visiting the United States.

"I have received a call from the embassy today, informing me about the ban and cancellation of visas," Express TV quoted Bilour as saying. He again defended his bounty statement and emphasizing the need of an international law which would make such profane acts a punishable crime across the world.

The United Kingdom had already banned the entry of Bilour.

Bilour rejected the ban by the U.S. and Britain and said he was not worried whether the U.S. or UK restricted his entry into their countries.

The spokesperson of the U.S. embassy in Islamabad refused to comment on the issue.

"It’s against privacy laws of the United States to disclose such details," said the spokesperson, local media said.

Bilour’s own party had also disowned the bounty statement in views of strong condemnation by the government and some Western countries.

But neither the government nor his party took any action against him and he still functions as minister.

Pakistani Taliban had praised Bilour and also removed his name from their hit list. A Taliban spokesman said they would not target Bilour even if he issues statement against the group after his bounty.