LET’S hand it to the Islamabad High Court for the monumental decision: the acid-tongued televangelist and TV host, Amir Liaquat Hussain, has been barred from making any television appearances till further notice.
A petition, filed by citizen Muhammad Abbas, has sought a complete ban on Liaquat from using television, social media and print media on allegations he has abused his influence to spread discord and hatred in the country. The petitioner also alleged that Liaquat used an Islamic show—Aalim Online—for several years to create social and religious divide in the country.
The televangelist, a former state minister for religious affairs, is no stranger to controversy. He resigned last month from Bol TV in a string of dramatic posts on Twitter, accusing his former employer of not paying his dues and pressuring him into leveling blasphemy accusations against various individuals.
Earlier this year, Pemra had slapped a ban on his show ‘Aisay Nahi Chahlay Ga’, aired on Bol TV, in which he leveled blasphemy allegations against kidnapped civil society activists and bloggers.
In 2008, Liaquat received widespread criticism after he hosted a TV show during which he, along with others, passed vile comments against a minority community and discussed their murder as an act of religious duty.
In 2011, a controversial behind-the-scenes video went viral on social media, in which the host is seen speaking with his companions in course and vulgar language during different instances of his show.
Similarly, in 2016, Pemra had barred Husain from hosting Ramzan show ‘Inam Ghar’ on Geo Entertainment for three days following his June 6 episode, in which he had distastefully re-enacted the suicide of a girl.
Amir Liaquat, who began his career as a moderate, well-meaning Muslim scholar, has over the years turned into a pseudo religious expert devoid of any character. In fact, he’s a microcosm of the typical Pakistani society: hypocritical, greedy and morally and intellectually corrupt. A highly foul-mouthed and mercurial individual adept at the art of fooling people—especially impressionable women—through his flowery and elaborate speech, he is the man who can do virtually anything for fame and fortune.
Once again, hats off to Justice Siddiqui for this historic decision. People like him must be banned for good.