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Aamir Liaquat

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Aamir Liaquat Hussain
Minister of State for Religious Affairs
In office
5 September 2004 – 5 July 2007
President Pervez Musharraf
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz
Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan
In office
21 November 2002 – 5 July 2007
Constituency NA-249 (Karachi-XI)
Personal details
Born (1971-07-05) 5 July 1971 (age 46)
Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
Nationality Pakistani
Parents Sheikh Liaquat
Residence Karachi
Occupation TV show host
Website AamirLiaquat.com

Aamir Liaquat Hussain (Urdu: عامر لیاقت حسین‎; born 5 July 1971) is a Pakistani television host and former politician. He joined BOL News in 2016, where he hosts the current affairs talk show Aisay Nahi Chalay Ga. Hussain had been a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan from 2002 to 2007 and served as the Minister of State for Religious Affairs.

Early life and education[edit]

Hussain was born on July 5, 1971 in Karachi[1] to politician Sheikh Liaquat Hussain[2] and columnist Mahmooda Sultana.[3]

In an interview, Hussain said he received his Bachelor's of Arts (BA) degree in Islamic Studies in 1995, and Doctor of Philosophy (Phd) in Islamic Studies in 2002 by a now known degree mill, Trinity College and University (based in Spain but incorporated in Dover, Delaware).[4] He also claim to hold a degree of Master of Arts in Islamic Studies in 2002 from the Trinity College and University.[5]

In 2006, the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan declared the BA degree in Islamic Studies of Hussain obtained from the Trinity College and University as not recognised and fake. The University of Karachi declared his BA degree as fake earlier in 2005. Hussain declared his BA degree to the election commission of Pakistan while filing his nomination forms for 2002 Pakistani general elections.[6] It was reported that Hussain had purchased his degrees from the Trinity College and University to become eligible for contesting the elections.[4] In 2002, it was made compulsory for contestants of elections for seats in the Provincial and National Assembly of Pakistan to hold at least a bachelor's degree.[7]

Hussain's claim to receive an MBBS degree from Liaquat Medical College Jamshoro in 1995[4] was also falsified based on the fact that if he had a MBBS degree in 1995 he would not need any fake bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees to contest the 2002 general elections. It was also noted that one cannot pursue two different faculties at a same time since Hussain claim to have both his MBBS degree in 1995 and BA in Islamic Studies from Trinity College in 1995.[8]

In 2012, it was reported that Hussain appeared as candidate for a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Karachi from where graduated in 2008. He was later enrolled in Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science & Technology in 2010 from where received his master's degree in Islamic studies but according to official at Federal Urdu University, Hussain never attended class or appeared in exams.[3] They officials said that the admission form of Hussain was initially submitted with the photograph of another person and was later replaced with the photograph of Hussain. It was also reported that Hussain not himself appeared in the semester exams.[9]

In 2015, it was reported that Hussain acquired fake degree from Ashwood University. According to Federal Investigation Agency, his profile was noted in Axact's main server. Hussain confessed that he purchased fake degree from Ashwood University for $1136.[10]

Political career[edit]

Hussain was elected as the Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan for the first time in Pakistani general election, 2002 on the ticket of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement from NA-249 Karachi-XI constituency and was appointed as the minister of state for Religious affairs[3] and Zakat and Ushar Division in September 2004 in Shaukat Aziz cabinet.[1][11]

As the junior minister of Religious Affairs, Hussain asked religious scholars from Pakistan to issue a 'Fatwa' regarding suicide bombings in May 2005.[12]

In June 2005 he was attacked by enraged youths during his visit to Jamia Binoria. Police however denied that any incident of manhandling of Hussain had taken place and said that the crowd only chanted slogans.[13][14]

Hussain was the minister of state for Religious Affairs until 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.[15][3] According to an official statement, the party was unhappy with the statements made by Hussain against Salman Rushdie.[16] Later in 2008, MQM also expelled Hussain from the party.[17]

In 2007, he resigned from politics.[18] He is the founder of Memhooda Sultana Foundation.[19]

From 2013 to 2015, an annual publication The 500 Most Influential Muslims by Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Jordan included Hussain in their list.[18][20]

In August 2016, after the attack on media houses by MQM workers and the arrest of MQM leaders, Hussain was also taken into custody by Sindh Rangers.[21] In February 2017, an Anti-Terrorism Court in Pakistan instructed the authorities to put the name of Hussain on the Exit Control List, after Hussain was charged with facilitation of hate speech but police failed to produce the Hussain in court hearings.[22]

TV career[edit]

Hussain was a radio broadcaster on FM101.[4] He is also known for hosting Ramadan transmissions; for Suhur and Iftar, for many years.[23][19]

He started his television career from Pakistan Television Corporation but was fired shortly.[4] He joined Geo TV as founding member in 2001 where he hosted religious program Aalim Online.[19]

In 2010, Hussain left Geo TV[23][3][24] and joined ARY Digital Network as Managing Director of ARY Qtv and as Executive Director of ARY Digital. He hosted religious program Aalim Aur Aalam there.[25]

He then hosted Pehchan Ramazan in 2012,[26] after rejoining Geo TV,[3] and Amaan Ramazan in 2013.[27][28] In January 2014, he became the vice president of Geo TV, and hosted game show Inaam Ghar.[19][29]

In June 2014, he joined Express Media Group as president[30] and Group Editor of religious content on Daily Express,[19] and hosted Pakistan Ramazan.[31][32]

Hussain then rejoined Geo TV and hosted Subh-e-Pakistan from November 2014,[33] and also became president of Geo Entertainment in November 2015.[23]

He then joined BOL media group in 2016, and started hosting current affairs talk show Aisay Nahi Chalay Ga. There, he hosted Ramazan Mein BOL in 2017,[34] during which he also started hosting a game show; Game Show Aisay Chalay Ga.[35][36]

In 2016, it was reported that Hussain will make Pakistani film debut in an upcoming film of Syed Noor, alongside Saima Noor as lead cast.[37]

Controversies[edit]

In 2008, Hussain in his TV special Khatmay Nabuwat criticised the Ahmadi Community founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadyani. The guest scholars in show declared anyone associated with Ahmadi group deserving of murder due to blasphemy.[38][39] Within two days, two prominent Ahmadis were killed, one of them being a physician and another being a community leader.[40][41][42]

In 2010, Hussain in his TV show claimed that the recent losses in cricket matches of Pakistani Cricket 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. Hussain claimed that this was a matter of faith. He was criticised for his views in the press.[43][44][45]

In 2011, a compilation of behind-the-scenes[25] footage videos were 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.[46][47][48] In his defence, Hussain accused the Geo TV, of creating the alleged fake video in order to tarnish his credibility, and stated that the video must have been edited and dubbed by "masters of synchronization". However, The New York Times reported that Hussain himself said "It was my lighter side".[49]

In 2013, Hussain was criticised for giving out abandoned infants to parents who wanted to adopt babies in Amaan Ramazan transmission.[50][51] The parents were chosen after background checks were done by the Chhipa association beforehand, and then the baby was handed over to them during the show.[52] Child welfare advocates expressed concern that the lack of confidentiality could expose the children and their families to teasing and stigma in the future.[53]

In 2014, a religious cleric in a TV show hosted by Hussain declared Ahmadis the enemies of Islam and Hussain responded by nodding his head in affirmation while the audience burst into applause. The guest cleric went on to use further derogatory language against the Ahmadis for some minutes while the TV show host clapped in appreciation[54] Within five days of the show, an Ahmadi man, Luqman Ahmad Shehzad, was gunned down in Gujranwala.[55] This was the second time that Hussain's show had been linked to attacks on Ahmadis.[56]

In June 2016, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) barred Hussain from hosting his Ramadan show Inaam Ghar for three days on Geo Entertainment, which showed a reenactment by the show's host of a girl committing suicide.[57][58]

In January 2017, a social activist and lawyer Jibran Nasir filed a complaint with PEMRA alleging Hussain of running a "malicious, defamatory and life endangering campaign" against him.[59][60] The same month, Hussain also claimed that the Om Puri was murdered.[61] Following which the PEMRA banned Hussain and his programme Aisay Nahi Chalay Ga on BOL News for preaching hate.[62][63]

In March 2017, Amnesty International slammed the Government of Pakistan for not taking action against Hussain for endangering the lives of journalists, and bloggers, and social activists and urged Interior Minister of Pakistani Nisar Ali Khan to take immediate steps.[64] Later in the month, PEMRA issued a notification against Hussain, directing him to apologise on air to the viewers for hate speech.[65][66]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]