Aamir Liaquat Hussain

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Aamir Liaquat Hussain
Minister of Religious Affairs
In office
21 November 2002 – 15 November 2007
President Pervez Musharraf
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz
Personal details
Born Aamir Liaquat Hussain
(1971-07-05) July 5, 1971 (age 43)
Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
Citizenship  Pakistan
Nationality Pakistani
Political party Muttahida Qaumi Movement
Spouse(s) Bushra Aamir
Parents Ghousia Mehmooda Sultana (mother)
Sheikh Liaquat (father)
Residence Karachi
Occupation Entertainer[1]
Profession TV show host[2]
Cabinet Shaukat Aziz
Religion Islam[3]
Broadcasting and Television Career Express Media Group
Program host(s) Ramzan Pakistan
Website www.aamirliaquat.com

Aamir Liaquat Hussain (Urdu: عامر لیاقت حسین‎) is a Pakistani politician and broadcaster. Hussain was born on 5 July 1971 in Karachi.[4] He has been the host of the TV program Aalim Aur Aalam on ARY Digital since 6 August 2010 previously appearing on Geo News[5] hosting the show Aalim Online. Aamir Liaquat Hussain contested in 2002 and he was elected to the National Assembly affiliated party with Muttahida Qaumi Movement. He resigned from his post as a member of the National Assembly and from his seat as the Minister of Religious Affairs in 2007.

In 2005, an investigation into his background revealed that his degrees were fake.[6] In 2010 he was expelled from Muttahida Qaumi Movement.[7][8]

Personal life[edit]

Aamir Liaquat Hussain was born in Karachi. His father Sheikh Liaquat was also a member of the National Assembly. He won a seat in 1997 after having joined the Muttahida Qaumi Movement in 1994.[9]

TV career[edit]

He started his television career from PTV and was fired shortly. Hussain said, “A few years ago, I did a program for PTV, but was soon asked to leave since the programme producers there believed that I did not know how to speak, and that I did not have the right manners to make a conversation. I was quite heartbroken for sometime after that.”[10]

He started as a newscaster and then as a host he had his first program on Geo Television Network. He worked for more than eight years in Geo TV network.

In 2010, he joined ARY Digital Network as Managing Director of QTV and as Executive Director of ARY Digital. He has started his new program Aalim Aur Aalam on ARY Network. There he started Ramadan special transmissions for Sahoor and Iftaar. In 2011, however, the program took an entirely new format and was titled Rahman Ramadan.

On 21 June 2012 Aamir Liaquat announced on ARY Digital that he is leaving ARY Digital Network.[11]

Aamir Liaqaut rejoined Geo TV Network in June 2012.[12] In January 2014, he started hosting a Geo's live game show Inaam Ghar.[13]

On June 20, 2014 Aamir Liaquat joined Express Media Group as president and Group Editor of Daily Express.[14] In Ramadan he is hosting the live religious television programme Pakistan Ramazan and Alim On air on Express Entertainment.

Political career[edit]

2005 attack[edit]

In 2005 he was attacked by enraged youths during his visit to Jamia Binoria. Provincial minister for Planning and Development Shoaib Bukhari was also with him during this visit. He was detained in Jamia Binoria after a member of the crowd stole a gun from his gunman. It was reported that the windscreen of his car was broken and he had to go hide in the girls hostel from there he made a frantic call to the police claiming that his life was in danger.[15][16]

Fatwa against suicide bombings[edit]

As the Minister of Religious Affairs, Hussain asked religious scholars from Pakistan to issue a Fatwā (religious edict) regarding suicide bombings in May 2005. Fifty-eight religious scholars issued a decree against suicide bombings. However, the Fatwa issued was not valid in any areas of conflict. It established suicide bombings, planting bombs, attacking mosques and other places of worship as un-Islamic.[17][18]

Minister of Religious Affairs[edit]

Hussain was the Minister of Religious Affairs until 4 July 2007, when his party asked him to resign from his position as Minister of State for Religious Affairs and from his seat as a member of the National Assembly. According to an official statement, the party was unhappy with the statements made by Aamir Liqauat Hussain against Salman Rushdie.[19]

According to the official press release, Hussain had been warned against acts that might create religious hatred. As a part of those warnings, he was relieved of all of his responsibilities in the party and unofficially removed from the party. A year-and-half later, on 10 September 2010 he was officially expelled from Muttahida Qaumi Movement for misusing the party platform to advance his agenda even if it conflicted with the party's philosophy.[7]

Regarding the reason of his resignation he said, "The main turning point for me was the issue concerning Devil Rushdi who was awarded knighthood by the British Queen. As a minister for religious affairs and as a Muslim, it was my primary duty to condemn this act. I am proud of the fact that I did my duty and vigorously condemned Devil Rushdi and those who wanted to confer knighthood upon him. Our own government officials who were under intense pressure from abroad urged me to deny the statements that I had made in condemnation of Rushdi and his supporters. But instead of doing so, I thought it is better to resign, not only from the cabinet but also from the assembly because it too could do nothing practical on this issue."[20]

Controversies and criticism[edit]

Fake degrees[edit]

In 2002, Pervez Musharraf made it compulsory for contestants of elections for seats in the Provincial and National Assembly of Pakistan to hold at least a Bachelors degree. Hussain submitted to the election commission his BA degree in Islamic Studies issued by a now known degree mill, Trinity College and University (based in Spain but incorporated in Dover, Delaware (USA)), while filing his nomination forms for October 2002 general elections. He also claimed to hold a Masters degree and a PhD from the same university. However, in 2005 the University of Karachi declared his degree not recognised.[21] In 13 June 2006, the Higher Education Commission, also revealed that the degree of Aamir Liaquat Hussain was not recognised.[22][23]

The story on his degrees was inquired by a Karachi Urdu Daily Ummat. According to the investigation, Hussain approached a Spain based website, The Trinity College & University, which offers about providing Bachelors, Masters, and Doctorate degrees without attending any class or college. “Everything by Email” the website of the college says with the slogan: “Get your degree today.”[24][25]

Hussain now claims to hold a medical degree in 1995 from Liaquat University of Medical & Health Sciences, Jamshoro, Sindh. This claim has also been falsified based on the fact that if he had a medical degree he would not need any fake bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees to contest the 2002 general elections. He bachelors degree is dated to 1995, the year he associates with his medical degree and one cannot pursue two different faculties at a same time.[23][25][26]

Accusations of inciting violence[edit]

On 7 September 2008 Hussain dedicated an entire show to Ahmadis. The show was critical of the sect's founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, and the guest scholars declared anyone associated with Ahmadi sect "Wajib-ul-qatl" (deserving of murder due to blasphemy).[27][28] Within two days, two prominent Ahmadis were killed, one of them being a physician and another being a community leader.[29][30] Hussain have since stated that there was a misunderstanding as "The panel only used the phrase Wajib-ul-qatl (deserving of murder) with regard to false prophets. I’m sorry for the families but it has nothing to do with me or anything that was said on my programme.”[31]

Claim that green shoe soles caused defeat in a cricket match[edit]

On the episode aired on 29 January 2010, Hussain claimed that the recent losses in Cricket matches of Pakistani team were due to the fact that their new shoe soles were green. With green being the color of Pakistani flag and the dome of Muhammad's tomb, the green soles were supposedly disrespectful towards Islam, and apparently the team was being divinely punished.[32][33][34] Hussain claimed that this was a matter of faith. He was criticised for his views in the press.[32][33][34] One satirist Nadeem Paracha, jokingly asked, "Marvelous. This should also mean that the Pakistani team should stop playing on grass and the hockey team should stop dribbling and running across green AstroTurf as well?"[32]

Leaked behind-the-scenes footage[edit]

On 14 August 2011, a compilation of videos was leaked online, showing Hussain using various profanities on the set of his show. In the same video, he is also shown taking a rape related question lightly, mocking his religious guests, spontaneously singing Indian tunes and referring to Bollywood rape scenes.[35][36][37] The video went viral within hours.[38][39]

In his own defence, Hussain have stated that the video was fake and must have been edited and dubbed by "masters of synchronization". He accused the rival network, GEO TV, of creating the alleged fake video in order to tarnish his credibility. Additionally, he blamed those who wanted to question the finality of prophethood of Muhammad, which was a reference to Ahmadis.[40] Shortly after he said on Twitter, "Since ARY ratings have eaten GEO ratings therefore that channel started a campaign against me to break the records".[41] However, since then in a New York Times profile, Aamir Liaquat confirmed the authenticity of the video and said "It was my lighter side". Previously, he had claimed the tapes were fabricated.[42]

Babies given away in show[edit]

Aamir Liaquat Hussain has handed over abandoned infants from Chhipa Welfare Association to parents who wanted to adopt babies in Amaan Ramazan show. The parents were chosen after background checks were done by the Chhipa welfare association beforehand. The baby was then handed over to the parents during the show.[43][44]

The concern of the lack of confidentiality could expose the children and their families to teasing and stigma in the future was raised in media. Seema Jamali, assistant director of child welfare for the Sindh provincial government said, "The baby was given away the same way as a gift. Though it was good to find parents for her, the baby was given like a car, laptop, or motorcycle. It's an insult to the baby and the parents. It should have been done quietly.[45]

President of Express Media Group[edit]

In June 2014, Aamir Liaquat Hussain demanded Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman to promote him from Vice President to President of the media group. When his demand was not met, he accepted offer of the President-ship of Express Media Group.[46][47][48][49]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.brandsynario.com/articles/why-we-call-aamir-liaquat-the-biggest-entertainer-2013
  2. ^ http://www.brandsynario.com/news/aamir-liaquat-to-host-ramadan-transmission-for-express-entertainment
  3. ^ "a-star-televangelist-in-pakistan-divides-then-repents". NY Times. 31 August 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2014. 
  4. ^ Educational background of state ministers. Dawn.com. Retrieved 19 June 2011.
  5. ^ Aamir Liaquat On Geo The News. July 2012
  6. ^ M.A. Siddiqui "Musharraf's Blue Eyed Religious Affairs Minister Turns Out to be Dr. Fake" South Asia Tribune. "In a stunning investigation by Karachi Urdu Daily “Ummat” it has been documented and proved that Dr Aamir purchased fake University degrees to contest the 2002 general election, forced the University of Karachi officials to authenticate these degrees in a single day and prevented any investigations by the newspaper to dig deep into the unavailable records at the University." ISSN: 1684-2057. Retrieved 6 March 2012
  7. ^ a b KARACHI: Muttahida expels Aamir Liaquat Dawn.com " The Muttahida Qaumi Movement has expelled former MNA Dr Aamir Liaquat Hussain for violating party policy." Retrieved 1 March 2012
  8. ^ Minhas, Shahanda. "Missing the forest for the trees".
  9. ^ "Muttahida Leader Sheikh Liaquat is Dead" The Khaleej Times. "Sheikh Liaquat leaves behind two sons including Aamir Liaquat Hussain, an ex-federal minister." 25 September 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  10. ^ http://antisystemic.org/satribune/www.satribune.com/archives/200506/Dawn_Magazine_May1.htm
  11. ^ http://www.awamiweb.com/dr-aamir-liaquat-hussain-left-ary-digital-47381.html leaving ARY Digital.
  12. ^ Aamir Liaquat To Join Geo TV Again Awami Web. "Aamir Liaquat Hussain is going to join Geo TV again" 27 June 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
  13. ^ "Geo’s exciting family show ‘Inaam Ghar’ kicks off tonight". thenews.com.pk. 18 January 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2014. 
  14. ^ "Dr Aamir Liaquat Hussain joins Express". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  15. ^ Minister mobbed, manhandled. Dawn.com. "According to law-enforcement personnel, Dr Aamir made frantic calls saying that he was badly wounded and his life was in danger. Police sent in a jeep with tinted glass to take the minister out, but he refused to board the vehicle. Later, an armed police car was brought into the premises of girls’ hostel and the minister was taken out." Retrieved 3 March 2012.
  16. ^ "PM concerned over attack on minister". Dawn.com. 26 June 2005. Retrieved 19 July 2012. 
  17. ^ Mir, Amir. "Pakistani Fatwa Against Suicide Bombing". Cobrapost.com. Retrieved 19 July 2012. ...Minister of State for Religious Affairs and the moving spirit behind the Fatwa, Dr Aamir Liaquat Hussain, considered close to General Musharraf, congratulated the nation over the issuance of Fatwa... 
  18. ^ "Suicide attacks are haram, clerics decree". dailytimes.com/pk. 18 May 2005. Retrieved 19 July 2012. This meeting was the result of Minister of State for Religious Affairs Aamir Liaqat Hussain’s continuous efforts to build consensus between the clerics of Pakistan on the subject. 
  19. ^ "Dr Aamir Liaquat resigns". DAWN.com. 5 July 2007. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  20. ^ "Profile of a Legend". aamirliaquat.com. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  21. ^ "Dr. Aamir Liaqat's masters, PhD degrees are fake". Retrieved 2 March 2012. Liaqat has allegedly purchased fake degrees of Masters in Islamic Studies, Masters in Business Administration and PhD from 'The Trinity College and University, Spain which is an unrecognized university, besides the university is not included in the list of recognized international universities available with Karachi University 
  22. ^ Degree of Amir Liaquat not recognised Dawn.com "The Higher Education Commission has officially declared the BA degree of Minister of State for Religious Affairs Dr Aamir Liaquat Hussain ‘not recognised’" Retrieved 3 March 2012
  23. ^ a b http://tribune.com.pk/story/337526/will-the-real-amir-liaquat-please-stand-up/
  24. ^ http://paktribune.com/news/Dr-Aamir-Liaqats-masters-PhD-degrees-are-fake-96981.html
  25. ^ a b http://antisystemic.org/satribune/www.satribune.com/archives/200505/P1_drfake.htm
  26. ^ http://www.outlookpakistan.com/2014/02/27/aamir-liaquat-hussain-a-controversial-personality/
  27. ^ Azhar, Mobeen (13 July 2012). "The rise of Pakistan's televangelists". BBC World Service. Retrieved 18 July 2012. In September 2008, Liaqat dedicated an entire episode to exploring the beliefs of the Ahmedis, a Muslim sect which has been declared as "un-Islamic" by much of the orthodoxy. In it, two scholars said that anyone who associated with false prophets was "worthy of murder". 
  28. ^ "Is Pakistan’s TV evangelism sprouting a dangerous creed of intolerance?". Al Arabia News. 15 July 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2012. Despite the drubbing he received, his popularity was not affected until a show in September 2008 in which he castigated Pakistan’s minority Muslim community, the Ahmadis, The two guest scholars he invited on the show said anyone who called Ahmadis Muslims were “waajib al qatl” (worthy of death). 
  29. ^ http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-203-2008
  30. ^ Idris, Kunwar. "Not in the name of faith". Dawn.com. Retrieved 18 July 2012. The three men murdered were peaceable, law-abiding citizens. Those who knew Seth Yusuf, as the people of Nawabshah indeed had for 50 or more years, would not have ever thought of doing him the slightest harm. He was a God-fearing man in his seventies. His murderers were obviously strangers who were either indoctrinated or paid to kill him only because he was the chief of the district`s Ahmadiyya community. Most poignant has been the death of Dr Abdul Mannan Siddiqui. Tributes to him flowed freely and generously. To the lawyers of the district he was a benefactor of mankind. The hospital staff looked up to him more as a father than as an employer. The head of the district police thought he was a great man the like of whom are not born everyday. The association of the doctors summed it all up Mannan`s murder is the murder of humanity. 
  31. ^ Azhar, Mobeen (6 July 2012). "Shades of bigotry". Dawn.com. Retrieved 18 July 2012. I met Liaqat and his production team at the ARY studio in Karachi. “I have no regrets because it has nothing to do with me. It is a misunderstanding. The panel only used the phrase Wajib-ul-qatl with regard to false prophets. I’m sorry for the families but it has nothing to do with me or anything that was said on my programme.” 
  32. ^ a b c Paracha, Nadeem (4 February 2010). "Evergreen logic". Dawn.com. Retrieved 19 July 2012. Yup, you read that right. Liaquat bhai then went on to endorse this brilliant insight by suggesting that green soles are the culprit because green is the colour of Islam and also of our national flag. Marvelous. This should also mean that the Pakistan team should stop playing on grass, and the hockey team should stop dribbling and running across green AstroTurf as well? 
  33. ^ a b "TV host sees red; blames green soles for Pak defeat". Mumbaimirror.com. 1 February 2010. Retrieved 19 July 2012. Two days after it was aired, the show has been cross-posted on many websites, with most Pakistanis expressing shock at Hussain’s jahaalat (stupidity). “Yes, you heard it right. It’s all in the shoes. Or, actually, in the soles!” wrote a blogger on Pakistaniat.com. 
  34. ^ a b "Pak cricket team's drubbing blamed on green colour of soles". Timesofindia.com. 31 January 2010. Retrieved 19 July 2012. Aamir Liaquat Hussain, who hosts the popular Aalim Online talk show on Geo TV and is no stranger to controversy, said green is the colour of Pakistan and of Islam and "this colour being rubbed on the ground" is a derogatory act. 
  35. ^ Chaudhry, Kashif (17 August 2011). "Saint or Hypocrite? Technology Can Confirm the Real Aamir Liaquat". newslinemagazine.com. Retrieved 18 July 2012. In the newly surfaced video, the publicly modest-looking Islamic scholar can be seen using abusive and derisive language in recorded outtakes of his programme. He is shown swearing, casually and routinely letting off the vernacular for “mother fu**er”, “pimp” and “sister fu**er,” etc., during conversations. The “Aalim” also appears to be big on Bollywood, for which he has quite a varied taste (“Ghalib movie dekhi hai?”). In one clip, he tries to remember a certain actor from a movie song who he says is notorious for rape scenes. 
  36. ^ Ahmed, Akbar S. and Hassan, Leena. Dishonourable Conduct: A Summary of the Infamous Aamir Liaquat Video Newsline. "This portion of the video seems the most natural, as if Liaquat’s letting his rather greasy hair down. If this is what it’s like to have him as a chum, we think we’ll pass. Still, the speed at which he transforms from lecherous Liaquat to attentive Aalim does impress us." Retrieved 1 March 2012
  37. ^ Fulton, George. Delusion, denial and ‘Dr’ Liaquat The Express Tribune. "It’s fine to swear like a lafunga on a motorbike at Seaview. Less so if you have made millions projecting a holiness that has made you managing director of a television channel that broadcasts religious programmes and also a former minister of religious affairs" 17 August 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2012
  38. ^ "On the tele-evangelist who got caught with his pant off...". http://pakteahouse.net. 16 August 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2012. The high drama of the week status can be awarded to the leaked Amir Liaqut video that went viral in a matter of hours two days ago and was as swiftly taken off youtube and a host of other sites. 
  39. ^ Chaudhry, Kashif (17 August 2011). "Saint or Hypocrite? Technology Can Confirm the Real Aamir Liaquat". newslinemagazine.com. Retrieved 18 July 2012. “Everyone knows it is a world of technology. They have manipulated and tempered [sic] few clips and dubbed the abusive worlds [sic] in my voice,” tweeted Dr Aamir Liaquat in the aftermath of the recent video scandal (see the video below) that quickly went viral this past weekend. The video consists of several unflattering clips of the TV personality filming his show and reveals what many believe is Liaquat’s “true face.” 
  40. ^ "Sehar Amir Kay Sath" (in Urdu). 15 August 2011. ARY DIGITAL. "Since last night, there is a video spreading around. A fake video. It was edited and dubbed beautifully. This could have only been done by a channel, and you know very well, from which archives, the footage came from. It was dubbed in the same place, and they are masters of dubbing. Of creating and making sounds, [and] synchronization...and remember, where there is an oath taken to protect the finality of the Prophet, there are definitely some corrupters that are present there, and they find little ways to conspire. We should not listen to such Conspiracies. The tongue which praises the Prophet, cannot use foul language. Profanity cannot come out of there."
  41. ^ "Aamir Liaquat Video with explicit language released on the Internet". 16 August 2011. Retrieved 16 July 2012. Aamir Liaquat claims in his Twitter message “Since ARY ratings have eaten GEO ratings therefore that channel started a campaign against me to break the records”  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  42. ^ Walsh, Declan (31 August 2012). "A Superstar Televangelist in Pakistan Divides, Then Repents". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 February 2014. 
  43. ^ Abandoned babies given away on Pakistani TV programme
  44. ^ Aamir Liaquat presented Ramazan as symbol of peace: CNN
  45. ^ http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-23529448
  46. ^ Supporting military: Ramazan transmission dedicated to army
  47. ^ http://regionalpost.com/dr-amir-liaqat-finally-joined-express-tv/
  48. ^ http://www.thenewsinfo.com/2014/06/amir-liaqat-hussain-finally-joined-express-tv/
  49. ^ http://pakistanmediaupdates.com/know-aamir-liaquat-quit-geo-news-2299.html