World News

Pakistan offers big reward for Taliban informers

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan on Saturday offered a reward for information about Taliban militants involved in planning or carrying out attacks, and promised to resettle informers in Pakistan or abroad.

Authorities said on Friday they had thwarted a plot to attack parliament and a mosque in Islamabad and arrested two would-be suicide bombers.

“We will give 10 million rupees ($120,000) to anyone providing information about these terrorists,” Interior Minister Rehman Malik told reporters in Islamabad.

“We will make arrangements to settle the informers and their families anywhere in the country and even outside the country if there is danger that Taliban would hurt them.”

U.S. ally Pakistan has been fighting a growing insurgency emanating from its lawless northwestern tribal regions bordering Afghanistan and spreading to cities and towns across the country.

More than 2,000 people have been killed in suicide and bomb attacks across Pakistan since the army stormed a militant-run mosque in the capital Islamabad in 2007.

Malik said most of the militants belonged to Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, the main militant alliance based in the northwest.

But he said militants from groups based in the central Punjab province such as the banned Sunni Muslim groups Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) were also very active.

LeJ is believed to have links with al Qaeda and has been accused of involvement in attacks across the country including the murder of the American journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002.

SSP is a pro-Taliban group mainly accused of violence against minority Shi’ite Muslims.

Reporting by Zeeshan Haider; Editing by Kevin Liffey