Islamabad: The government of Pakistan’s restive Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province announced a bounty worth 10 million rupees (US$100,000) for information leading to the arrest or death of the Pakistani Taliban chief, officials said.
“The provincial government set a bounty of RS 10 million for any information/help which can lead to the arrest or killing of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Mullah Fazlullah,” a senior official in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government said, requesting anonymity.
He said the government in Pakistan’s restive northwest had prepared a list of 615 high profile militants and was offering a combined bounty of RS760 million (US$7.5 million).
The official said the list also includes Mengal Bagh, chief of Lashkar-e-Islam, a Taliban-linked militant group operating in the Khyber tribal district.
Mushtaq Ghani, the provincial information minister confirmed the bounty.
Meanwhile, the country’s parliament deferred voting on legislation regarding the establishment of military courts for terror-related cases until Tuesday, after the chief of a religious party objected to the contents of the national plan of action.
The bill will be presented in parliament on Tuesday for voting, after which military courts will be made legal. At present the military courts deal only with cases related to the military.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had announced the establishment of military courts for terror-related cases after a deadly Taliban attack on military-run school in Peshawar that killed 150 people, 134 of them children.
The prime minister also ended Pakistan’s six-year-old moratorium on the death penalty in terror cases last month in the wake of the slaughter at the school.
Seven convicted militants have been hanged since the de facto ban on capital punishment ended. Six of those executed were found guilty of trying to assassinate the then-military dictator Musharraf in Rawalpindi in 2003 and the seventh was sentenced in connection with a 2009 attack on the army headquarters.
Pakistani officials have said they plan to hang 500 convicts in the coming weeks, drawing condemnation from international human rights campaigners.