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Interior Minister Rehman Malik.—APP (File Photo)

KARACHI: Interior Minister Rehman Malik has offered a $1 million bounty for Ehsanullah Ehsan, the central spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, which claimed responsibility for the attack on 14-year-old activist Malala Yousufzai’s life.

Speaking to CNN in an interview late Monday, Malik said that security agencies were investigating the attack and hunting down those whose involvement had been ascertained.

“All our law enforcers, intelligence agencies are hunting all those who were involved. I have got some other names which I would not like to mention on record because it may damage the investigation. But let me (as)sure my Pakistani nation, and the entire world, that we will get them very soon,” the interior minister told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.

Malik said that according to details unearthed in the probe, the assassination attempt on Malala was planned in Afghanistan.

“Four people came from there. ... One of the guys, we have identified and (a) few of his associates have been arrested. One of – the fiancee of one of the terrorists has been detained, and all possible leads which we have developed ... we are following it,” said Malik, vowing to hold all those responsible to account “very soon.”

Moreover, the interior minister affirmed that the government was providing security to Malala’s family and to two other girls also wounded in the same attack.

Malik says ‘Radio Mullah’ new Pakistani Taliban chief; denied by the TTP spokesman

Later on Tuesday, the interior minister said that intelligence reports suggested that powerful militant commander “Radio Mullah” Fazlullah was being made the central leader of the militant umbrella group the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

“We have reports that Mullah Fazlullah was being made the chief of the TTP,” Malik told reporters in Mingora, Swat. He said that the reason Fazlullah was being made leader was that current chief Hakimullah Mehsud had been ‘underground’ and inactive, and had not been commanding most of the operations of the TTP.

However, speaking to our correspondent from an undisclosed location over the telephone, TTP spokesman Ehsan denied the reports. "As long as Hakimullah (Mehsud) continues to lead the TTP according to Shariah...... he will remain the ameer (chief) as appointed by Mullah Omar," said Ehsan.

"Young Taliban leadership is playing an active role in carrying out activities under the guidance of senior commanders like Fazlullah and Hakimullah," he added.

Fazlullah is the chief of the Swat Taliban, which previously had control over the Swat region and is believed to have melted away across the border following a Pakistani military offensive in 2009. Fazlullah is now believed to be based in Afghanistan’s Kunar province.

A spokesman for the Swat Taliban had claimed that two killers from Fazlullah’s special hit squad had been sent to target young schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai. The spokesman had further threatened to kill the girl’s father following the failed assassination attempt on the girl’s life.

Malik visited the house of Kainat, one of the girls injured during the attack on Malala in Swat. The interior minister added that three platoons of the Frontier Constabulary (FC) would be named after the three girls – Malala, Kainat and Shazia.

He also said that the government would confer a Sitara-i-Shujaat (Medal of Courage) award on Malala for her activism for girls’ education and peace despite dangers to her life. correspondent Zahir Shah Sherazi contributed to reporting.

Comments (59) Closed

Qaiser Bakhtiari Oct 16, 2012 02:22pm
Everything is staged by CIA ofcourse. To discredit the "brave" and "honest" Taliban. Who only sell flowers for living and have never harmed a fly. Anything bad that is done is ofcourse by Amrika right? ok now stop
gangadin Oct 18, 2012 01:42am
How come there was no bounty for the killers of Benazir?
satyaprabhprabhu Oct 16, 2012 01:52pm
no need of all this stunt , just take care of the the 14year old innocent child , dear interior miniister what ever u do is for some sort of gain gain of urs or the party
Leftist Oct 16, 2012 11:08am
Would headhunter Bilour match this bounty ???!!
GlobNetizen Oct 16, 2012 06:09pm
One of the first high ranking Pakistani official to reassure Pakistani people with some law enforcement measures! Nevertheless, it is a welcome step.
masroor durrani Oct 16, 2012 02:34pm
Mr. Malik did you take Mr Billour in confidence.
satyaprabhu Oct 16, 2012 03:08pm
i have a question here? how many of you agree that we need more girls like this and similar boys like this to end terrorism in pakistan which can result in greater gdp ,economic growth,more industries,more emplyoment,more retail business, more exports , less imports, overall wealth and what is the target time , and which best political party for this
Orfeo Oct 16, 2012 03:20pm
Correction. The last sentence above should read, "Why support one atrocity while condemning the other?"
Bikram Oct 16, 2012 01:47pm
announcing bounty shows their helplessness
Syed Oct 16, 2012 12:27pm
Pakistan govt should and must get a control of law & order situation in the country...
AK Oct 16, 2012 02:30pm
I know, the Talibans are sacred of girls from begining. They treat their women like animal. We will teach them how to respect the women according to Islam.
Keen Observer Oct 16, 2012 01:46pm
NIce gesture. Hope they deliver too, and its not all photo op once again.
ragu Oct 16, 2012 11:14pm
How can the noble Taliban ever kill; All things bad in Pakistan have to be a conspiracy; Not many real problems will ever be addressed unless such 'falsehood' is set aside. Militancy was convenient for decades to the state of Pakistan; Now they are not.
Feroz Khan Oct 16, 2012 04:55pm
Why waste money? Ask US Navy Seals, they will take out EhsanUllah Ehsan for free.They did it successfully before, remember OBL in Abbottabad ? He is no more living in Abbottabad, he now at the bottom of th sea.
Abdur Razzaque Oct 17, 2012 08:43am
Please do not lavishly spend those foreign currency hardly earned by the poor and exhausted Pakistani peoples. Instead you can refer it to the peoples choice and better invest that money in some development works so they can procure their daily breads in exchange of their labour.
satyaprabhu Oct 16, 2012 02:12pm
the brave girl is more important mr, interior minister, not the other things that fetch your party , i beg you to do your best effort to save that girl in the interest of the future of the peace of the world
Masood Hussain Oct 16, 2012 03:39pm
Could some body make the Hon' Interior Minister to stay quite.He speaks too much and does nothing.
Carol Anne Grayson Oct 16, 2012 11:13am
How about a bounty against those who kill children by drone then. don't they count? Oh the hypocrisy!!!
Cyrus Howell Oct 16, 2012 11:15am
A Rehman Malik fatwa? They just received $2 billion in US aid. May as well offer a US style bounty. That way the Pak Army will not have to go after him. No Navy Seals or special forces for Pakistan. "Find him and we will have a US drone kill him. They can be blamed if he has his family with him."
Fawad Khan Oct 16, 2012 03:25pm
@ Rahman Malik. Why not spend the anounced money and make serious efforts in tracking and tracing the culprits? I think it's a chance for you and your government to have your names go down in history in golden.. Just awarding medals won't serve the purpose..
nadim Oct 16, 2012 04:48pm
Everything wrong in Pakistan is due to India/ US/ West! Shame on our leaders :( Shame on illiteracy that people dont see that this is because of political/personal gains that they end up blaming the west for everything!
M Oct 16, 2012 02:03pm
If you fail to see the difference between an ideology that puts children on hit lists and hunts them down to murder them, and a military plan to destroy those very people that put children on hit lists, albeit at times killing civilians in cross-fire, though unintentionally, I don't know what to say.
Akundzada Shafiq Oct 17, 2012 04:19am
How much money the two persons need to travel from Kunar to Mingora to target Malala Yousufzai? I believe hardly a couple of thousands!!! But Malik Sahab's claim to have arrested a "fiancee" is strange. Don't play politics on Malala, improve security of ordinary Pakistanis instead of few high-ups - Malik Sahab.
Akundzada Shafiq Oct 17, 2012 04:22am
I agree with Dilawer's assertion as the anti-drone strike campaign was about to gain momentum, when this incident occurred. So, we should who can get more benefit from the attack on Malala Yousafzai? Taliban or the CIA?
Aamir Amjad Oct 16, 2012 11:19pm
Why are you so sarcastic all the time. What solution do you propose? Bounties do help sometimes to gather information.
muhammad liaqat Oct 16, 2012 11:25pm
i agree my Muslim brother. may ALLAH help us all and help us to develop Pakistan. ameen.
aaman Oct 17, 2012 02:13am
The girls...let's not forget about other two...
Mohammed Abbasi Oct 17, 2012 02:40am
The Taliban Mullahs are indeed so peaceful and loving they have never done anything bad - everyone else is bad!
Azad Oct 17, 2012 02:40am
To whom? Rehman Malik!!!
ghazi Oct 17, 2012 03:11am
Dilawer, when people dont have the words to counter an argument they resort to violence. Open your eyes and see. Have the Talaban ever opened a school or a hospital? All they know is how to kill. They live to plunder. The world is getting civil by the day. And if they believe in the barrel of the gun so they shall get. They are brave when it comes to fighting unarmed people. Especially girls aged 14. Do they forget when they were plummeled by the forces in Afghanistan ? They came running to Pakistan with their tales between their legs. Lets see if they can see and withstand the might of the Paki Army. People like you should live with them and not speak in favour of them living in the free world. I pity your ignorance.
Imran A. Oct 16, 2012 07:53pm
Malala is more brave than you Rehman Malik. Shame on you for not being bold enough to initiate the war against Taliban. Even if you get Ehsanullah Ehsan, there will be another ullah guy next in line to claim future responsibility. Maybe we need Musharaf back to teach you guys how to fight like a man.
Naeem N (usa) Oct 16, 2012 10:22pm
knowing taliban's mentality, they will reciprocate by offering $2millions bounty on Rehman Malik. Beginning of biding war.
Shujaat Ayub Khan Oct 16, 2012 08:57pm
Comments are more entertaining then Malik Rehman. I think he just made up the million $ number . What the heck I am looking good with this number.
Fakhri Oct 17, 2012 03:43am
When people like Malik Sahab think about pakistan and its people .. I get skeptic and its not my fault ...
Razzaq Oct 16, 2012 08:08pm
Learn from Sri Lanka how to clean your country.
sf Oct 16, 2012 06:12pm
Ms Grayason, I don't know where were you when you made your comment but you were no where near n. waziristan or even in Pakistan, comparing terrorist who kill children and burn their schools to those being killed in a war who enter Afghanistan to bomb and kill and return to Pakistan to take cover is beyond common sense..
Anti Wanna-bes Oct 16, 2012 06:14pm
u sound like a pseudo NFP fan trying to be sarcastic about the TALIBANS to be cool in your own eyes :) If you or any other pseudo intellectuals are so keen to comment on any section of the society at least meet a few of them and try to understand their culture and thinking if your so LIBERAL thinking allows you to :)
malik Oct 16, 2012 06:15pm
None of these bounties have ever worked. What makes him think this one will?
ahmed Oct 16, 2012 02:48pm
why spend my tax dollars. the whole world is eager to pay for Malala, can we spend the 1 million on victims of drones strikes. they do not even get a tear spent.
Saad Oct 16, 2012 02:23pm
This is so sad that this corrupt and in-human guy/administration is using this sad moment to make statements for political gains. This guy/administration has no shame. Absolutely none.
Amir Oct 16, 2012 05:44pm
Ehsanullah Eshan time to search for hiding places has started. Go Minister 1st time I say it is the right thing to do. Bless you heart. I'm so happy for your decision no matter whose pressure and why you did it. It is sure is a right decision. God bless you :)
A. Khan Oct 18, 2012 09:48am
In what capacity did he announce this reward ? I thought he had been disqualified as Interior Minister by the courts. Also where the Benazir commission report ? We are all waiting to see who gets accused in that as AZ and RM promised that during elections, with much fanfare. Or as BB is now out of the way, who really cares ?
Razia Oct 16, 2012 05:48pm
Well said, Qaiser Bakhtiari-sahib . Time to take responsibility.
Ad Oct 16, 2012 02:54pm
I am unable to understand why should we go so far and to unstable place like N.W while leaving militants who are living nearby and attacking cities in such an organised way in broad daylight every second day! what an illogical approach! Are we blind? Killing each other would never bring peace!
Ajay Oct 17, 2012 09:24am
When someone declares a war on the state then the civilian peace time laws don't apply on them. They should be dealt with the rules of war. TTP has declared a war on pakistan. They deserve no mercy.
Pasha Oct 16, 2012 02:57pm
so you mean to say it is okay to kill his family ? even if they are innocent. Lets do this somewhere across the US-Mexican border shouldn't we ?
Carol Anne Grayson Oct 16, 2012 02:59pm
If extra judicial killing is accepted by governments the message from them is that we are all free to go out to target and kill someone whom we feel is our enemy... or are states above the law!
Hello1 Oct 16, 2012 11:03am
Is this bounty to be paid by the government or is it another personal announcement like the one made earlier by Mr. Bilour?
Dilawer Oct 16, 2012 02:06pm
this malala incident is yet another staged CIA psy? op. Just when the anti-drone campaign was starting to gain momentum in the west they pull this stunt.
Gulzar Oct 16, 2012 12:51pm
I know one thing what ever he says is 'True"
AHK Oct 16, 2012 11:17am
Yeh paisa ghareeb awam par kharach karna chahye.
shafeeq Oct 16, 2012 12:45pm
Sorry for that bad incident. We should also fix the steal border with Afghanistan. If we cover the border with steal border then we can save our future from terrorist Taliban.
shafeeq Oct 16, 2012 12:44pm
We should also fix the steal border with Afghanistan. If we cover the border with steal border then we can save our future from terrorist Taliban.
Agha Ata (USA) Oct 16, 2012 12:49pm
To say that the attack on Malala was planned in Afghanistan and four attackers were sent from there, and that Fazalullah is also moved to Afghanistan and now he is in Kunar province is a very political statement. What commonsense says is that attack of Malala was a matter of routine for Taliban. They had no idea how the things would turn against them and become such a big issue. Besides, Taliban have their training centers in Waziristan and have better fighters trained right here, there was no need to get them from Afghanistan. I smell a remote intention to entangle Afghanistan into this issue, in which Malik is not very good at. He does see conspiracies hatched in foreign land for most problems in Pakistan.
T Shah Oct 16, 2012 12:11pm
Mr Malik, please promise to hang him upside down in a public square once he is caught.
Alexa Oct 16, 2012 12:10pm
Good. Start a chain of revenge killings...the way to go. Smart thinking, my man.
Khurram Oct 16, 2012 12:50pm
I don't believe him even if he says his name is Rehman Malik ... what kind of people we've on the top?
Muhammad Oct 16, 2012 11:56am
Carol, you know that it is not the same. Nobody intends to kill those children.
Kashaf Oct 17, 2012 05:26am
How the minister will arrange this much amount of money? From the deficit budget of a developing country or from his own pocket?