Governor Punjab Salman Taseer listens to Aasia Bibi at a prison in Sheikhupura.—AP/File

PESHAWAR: A hardline cleric has offered a reward to anyone who kills a Christian woman convicted of blasphemy against Islam.

Maulana Yousef Qureshi made the announcement Friday at a rally in Peshawar. He said his mosque would give $6,000 to the person who kills Aasia Bibi.

Bibi was sentenced Nov. 8 to hang for insulting Islam's Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). She and her family say the charge is baseless.

Her case has attracted international attention and a personal appeal from Pope Benedict XVI for her freedom, while government officials have talked about the possibility of a presidential pardon.

Bibi is currently in jail. Authorities were not immediately available for comment on Qureshi's announcement.

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