Pak riots cost: Rs. 42 billion

  • Imtiaz Ahmad, Hindustan Times, Islamabad
  • |
  • Updated: Sep 23, 2012 01:03 IST

The economic cost of the riots that erupted in Pakistan on Friday to protest an anti-Muslim film may be as high as Rs76 billion (R42.84 billion), local business associations have warned.

As the country picked up the pieces of the rioting and mayhem on Saturday, the government said that more than 130 persons were arrested and would be sent to anti-terrorism courts in Karachi and Lahore.

Militant groups like the Jesh-e-Muhammad and the Jamaat-ud Dawah (JuD) teamed up with other religious parties to stage the demonstrations. In
Some of the damage may be irreversible. The Bambino Cinema in Karachi, which was once owned by Hakim Ali Zardari, the father of President Asif Zardari, was gutted along with ten other cinema houses in the country. Famous Karachi cinemas like the Nishat, Prince and Capri were set also ablaze.

Nawab Hasan Siddiqui, the owner of Nishat Cinema, said he will never open it again. “Now I know there is no guarantee of our safety.”

Bounty on filmmaker
Meanwhile, federal railways minister Ghulam Ahmed Bilour announced that $100,000 will be awarded to the person who kills the maker of the anti-Islam blasphemous film.

Speaking to the media, Bilour said: “I request all the rich people to bring out all their money so that the killer can be loaded with dollars and gold.”


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