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Pak cleric offers Rs 1.5 mn for killing cartoonist

The cleric said he would give a Rs 1.5 million reward and a car for killing the cartoonist of the Prophet pictures.

india Updated: Feb 17, 2006 18:00 IST

A Pakistani cleric on Friday offered a $1 million reward and a new car for the death of any of the cartoonists behind drawings of the Prophet Mohammed.

Maulana Yousaf Qureshi, prayer leader at the historic Mohabat Khan mosque in the city of Peshawar, made the announcement during a fifth day of protests in Pakistan against the caricatures.

"Anyone who manages to kill the man who made blasphemous cartoons of Prophet Mohammed will get the cash reward," he said.

The cleric said Peshawar's Association of Goldsmiths would donate $1 million, while the mosque itself would give $25,000.

A local jeweller had also offered a brand new car to the killer, he told around 1,000 protesters in the city.

The 12 cartoons, first published in a Danish newspaper in September and then in many European dailies, were in fact drawn by a number of artists.

Qureshi added that Muslim scholars were unanimous that any blasphemer against the Prophet "is liable to be killed".

The senior minister of Islamist-ruled North West Frontier Province, Sirajul Haq, said the Danish government should hand over the cartoonists in the same way that Pakistan has transferred some terror suspects to the United States.

"Our protests will continue until the people involved in blasphemous cartoons of Prophet Mohammed are handed over to a Muslim country," he told the rally.

First Published: Feb 17, 2006 17:09 IST