Aamir Liaquat Hussain

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Aamir Liaquat Hussain

Aamir Liaquat Hussain (عامر لیاقت حسین) was a prominent Pakistani figure who served as a politician, columnist, and television host. Born on July 5, 1971, in Karachi to the renowned politician Sheikh Liaquat Hussain and columnist Mahmooda Sultana, Aamir Hussain made a significant impact on the media landscape of Pakistan.

Hussain was widely recognized as a top-ranking TV anchor and gained international recognition by being featured three times in “The 500 Influential Muslims Worldwide.” He was also counted among the 100 most popular personalities in Pakistan. However, he often faced criticism in the media due to his controversial comments about celebrities.

He had a substantial political career and was a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan from August 2018 to June 2022. Previously, he had served as a member of the National Assembly from 2002 to 2007 and held the position of Minister of State for Religious Affairs from 2004 to 2007 in the federal cabinet during Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz’s tenure.

Tragically, Aamir Liaquat Hussain passed away on June 9, 2022, in his own residence. He succumbed to suffocation, reportedly caused by a generator, which filled his house with smoke, as per police reports.

In addition to his political and media roles, Hussain was a radio broadcaster on FM101 and gained recognition for hosting Ramadan transmissions, including Suhur and Iftar, for many years. He initiated his television career at Pakistan Television Corporation but faced an early termination. Subsequently, he became a founding member of Geo TV in 2001, where he hosted the religious program “Aalim Online.”

Educational Qualifications

In an interview, Hussain claimed to have obtained his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree from Liaquat Medical College Jamshoro in 1995, along with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Islamic Studies in 2002 from Trinity College and University, a now-known degree mill based in Spain but incorporated in Dover, Delaware. He also stated that he earned a Master of Arts degree in Islamic Studies in 2002 from the same institution.

However, in 2006, the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan declared that Hussain’s BA degree in Islamic Studies from Trinity College and University was not recognized and was deemed fake. This university was exposed as a scam by The Guardian in 2003, where individuals could obtain a degree for as little as £150 within 28 days. Furthermore, the University of Karachi had already declared his BA degree as fake in 2005. Hussain had declared his BA degree to the election commission of Pakistan when filing his nomination forms for the 2002 Pakistani general elections. It was later revealed that Hussain had acquired these degrees from Trinity College and University to meet the eligibility requirements for contesting the elections. In 2002, it became mandatory for election candidates in Pakistan to hold at least a bachelor’s degree.

Karachi, Pakistan

Karachi, Pakistan

Name

Date of Birth

Birth of Place

Date of Death

Date of Place

Nationality

Profession

Career

1st Ex Wife

Relationship

Children

1st Ex Wife

2st Ex Wife

Relationship

3st Ex Wife

Relationship

Political Party

Members

Other Political

Members

Aamir Liaquat Hussain

5 July 1971

Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan

9 June 2022 (aged 50)

Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan

Pakistani

TV show host , Politician

2001 –2022

Syeda Bushra Iqbal [2]

 … – 2020

2

Dua Aamir , Ahmed Aamir

Syeda Tuba Aamir [1]

2018 – 2022

Syeda Dania Shah [3]

2022 – 2022

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf

2018-2021

Muttahida Qaumi Movement

2002 -2016

It was pointed out that if Hussain truly possessed an MBBS degree from Liaquat Medical College Jamshoro in 1995, he would not have needed to acquire fake bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees to qualify for the 2002 general elections. Additionally, the timeline raised questions, as he claimed to have earned both his MBBS degree and BA in Islamic Studies from Trinity College in the same year, 1995.

In 2012, reports emerged that Hussain had enrolled as a Bachelor of Arts degree candidate at the University of Karachi, from which he supposedly graduated in 2008. Later, he claimed to have pursued a master’s degree in Islamic Studies at the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science & Technology in 2010. However, university officials asserted that Hussain never attended classes or took any exams. They also noted that the admission form initially had a photograph of another individual and was later replaced with Hussain’s image. Furthermore, it was reported that Hussain did not personally sit for semester exams.

In 2015, it was revealed that Hussain had acquired a fake degree from Ashwood University. The Federal Investigation Agency identified his profile in Axact’s main server, and Hussain admitted to purchasing the counterfeit degree from Ashwood University for $1136.

Aamir Liaquat Hussain - Political Career

MQM

Hussain’s political career began with his election as a Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan in the 2002 Pakistani general election, representing NA-249 (Karachi-XI) on the Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s ticket. In September 2004, he assumed the role of Minister of State for Religious Affairs and Zakat and Ushar Division in the Shaukat Aziz cabinet.

During his tenure as the junior minister of Religious Affairs, Hussain sought the assistance of Pakistani religious scholars in issuing a ‘Fatwa’ concerning suicide bombings in May 2005. However, in June 2005, he faced an incident where enraged youths confronted him during a visit to Jamia Binoria. The police disputed claims of physical assault on Hussain, asserting that the crowd merely chanted slogans.

Hussain continued to serve as the Minister of State for Religious Affairs until July 2007 when his party requested his resignation from both his ministerial position and his seat in the National Assembly. The party cited their dissatisfaction with Hussain’s statements against Salman Rushdie as the reason. Subsequently, in 2007, he decided to step down from active politics, and in 2008, the MQM expelled him from the party.

Hussain was also known for founding the Memhooda Sultana Foundation. His influence extended to the international stage, with the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Jordan recognizing him in their annual publication, “The 500 Most Influential Muslims” from 2013 to 2015.

However, in August 2016, following an attack on media organizations by MQM workers and the arrest of MQM leaders, Hussain was taken into custody by Sindh Rangers. In February 2017, an Anti-Terrorism Court in Pakistan ordered authorities to include Hussain’s name on the Exit Control List after he faced charges related to facilitating hate speech. It’s important to note that the police failed to produce Hussain in court hearings during this time.

Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan

In office

13 August 2018 – 9 June 2022

Preceded 

Succeeded

Constituency

Constituency Established

Mahmood Moulvi

NA-245 (Karachi East-IV)

In office

21 November 2002 – 5 July 2007

Succeeded

Constituency

Farooq Sattar

NA-249 (Karachi-XI)

Minister of State for Religious Affairs

In office

5 September 2004 – 5 July 2007

President

Prime Minister

 Pervez Musharraf

 Shaukat Aziz

PTI ( Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf)

Hussain became a member of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in March 2018. He secured re-election as a PTI candidate for the NA-245 constituency (Karachi East-IV) in the 2018 Pakistani general election. However, on October 4, 2021, he tendered his resignation from his seat in the National Assembly of Pakistan and parted ways with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.

Return to MQM

On April 6, 2022, Hussain posted a tweet stating, “I am deeply embarrassed for betraying MQM leader Altaf Hussain. I can’t even meet his gaze,” which suggested his inclination towards returning to MQM. Aamir Liaquat had, on several occasions, praised Altaf Hussain as his “leader” and had advocated for government-level discussions to bring an end to Altaf’s self-imposed exile.

TV career

Hussain had a diverse career in the media industry. He began as a radio broadcaster on FM101 and gained recognition for hosting Ramadan transmissions for many years, covering both Suhur and Iftar. He initially embarked on his television career at Pakistan Television Corporation but was let go shortly afterward. In 2001, he became one of the founding members of Geo TV, where he hosted a religious program called “Aalim Online.”

In 2010, Hussain left Geo TV and joined the ARY Digital Network, taking on the roles of Managing Director for ARY Qtv and Executive Director for ARY Digital. During his time at ARY, he hosted the religious program “Aalim Aur Aalam.” In 2012, after rejoining Geo TV, he hosted “Pehchan Ramazan,” followed by “Amaan Ramazan” in 2013. His association with Geo TV continued as he became the Vice President of Geo TV in January 2014, and he also hosted the game show “Inaam Ghar.”

In June 2014, he switched to the Express Media Group, serving as the President and Group Editor of religious content on Daily Express, while also hosting “Pakistan Ramazan.” Subsequently, he returned to Geo TV and began hosting “Subh-e-Pakistan” from November 2014. In November 2015, he assumed the role of President of Geo Entertainment.

In 2016, he joined the BOL Media Group and started hosting the current affairs talk show “Aisay Nahi Chalay Ga.” During this time, he hosted “Ramazan Mein BOL” in 2017 and initiated a game show titled “Game Show Aisay Chalay Ga.” However, he left BOL in November 2017.

In 2019, he reconnected with the Pakistan Television Corporation. Additionally, in January 2016, there were reports of Hussain making his debut in Pakistani cinema, with an upcoming film by Syed Noor, in which he would star alongside Saima Noor. Furthermore, in April 2019, he announced his role as Burhan Wani in Ayub Khoso’s film, which focused on the Kashmir issue. In April 2020, he began hosting the game show “Jeeway Pakistan,” which airs on Express TV.

Conflicts

In 2008, Hussain made controversial remarks in his TV special, “Khatmay Nabuwat,” where he criticized the founder of the Ahmadi Community, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. During the show, guest scholars advocated violence against anyone associated with the Ahmadi group, alleging blasphemy. Shockingly, within two days, two prominent members of the Ahmadi community were tragically killed, including a physician and a community leader.

In 2010, Hussain claimed on his TV show that the Pakistani Cricket team’s recent losses were due to the green color of their shoe soles. He argued that the green soles were disrespectful to Islam as green is associated with the Pakistani flag and the Dome of Muhammad’s tomb. He suggested that the team was facing divine punishment, citing this as a matter of faith. His views sparked criticism in the media. In 2011, behind-the-scenes footage videos featuring Hussain using profanities on his show were leaked online. The same video showed him taking a light-hearted approach to a rape-related question, mocking religious guests, singing Indian tunes spontaneously, and referring to Bollywood rape scenes. Hussain defended himself, alleging that Geo TV had fabricated the video to damage his reputation, claiming it was edited and dubbed by “masters of synchronization.” However, The New York Times reported that he had acknowledged, “It was my lighter side.”

In 2013, Hussain faced criticism for giving out abandoned infants to adoptive parents during the Amaan Ramazan transmission. The Chhipa association conducted background checks on the parents before the babies were handed over during the show. Child welfare advocates expressed concerns about the lack of confidentiality, fearing potential teasing and stigma for the children and their families. In 2014, a religious cleric on Hussain’s TV show declared Ahmadis as enemies of Islam, and Hussain appeared to affirm this declaration by nodding his head while the audience applauded. Shortly after the show, an Ahmadi man, Luqman Ahmad Shehzad, was fatally shot in Gujranwala, marking the second time Hussain’s show was linked to attacks on Ahmadis.

In June 2016, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) barred Hussain from hosting his Ramadan show “Inaam Ghar” on Geo Entertainment for three days after the host reenacted a girl committing suicide. In January 2017, social activist and lawyer Jibran Nasir filed a complaint with PEMRA, accusing Hussain of running a “malicious, defamatory, and life-endangering campaign” against him. In the same month, Hussain claimed that Om Puri was murdered, leading to a ban by PEMRA on his program “Aisay Nahi Chalay Ga” on BOL News for promoting hate speech.

In March 2017, Amnesty International criticized the Pakistani government for not taking action against Hussain for endangering the lives of journalists, bloggers, and social activists. They urged the Interior Minister, Nisar Ali Khan, to take immediate action. PEMRA later issued a notification directing Hussain to apologize on air to viewers for his hate speech. On December 12, 2017, it was announced that Hussain would return to television through 24 News HD, but on December 13, PEMRA banned him from all forms of media over hate speech allegations. The ban was eventually lifted by the Supreme Court on February 7, 2018. On May 26, 2018, PEMRA once again banned Hussain after a controversy related to the religious organization Jamiat Ahle Hadith and Zakir Naik. In May 2020, Hussain issued an apology for his comments regarding the deaths of Indian actors Sridevi and Irrfan Khan. In May 2021, Hussain once again sparked controversy for his performance of the “Nagin Dance” (dance moves mimicking a snake) during his evening special Ramazan transmission.

Personal life

Hussain had been married three times. His first wife, Syeda Bushra Aamir, bore him two children. In June 2018, he publicly acknowledged his second marriage to Syeda Tuba Anwar, which lasted for approximately three years. In February 2022, Amir married Syeda Dania Shah, an 18-year-old at the time. However, their union came to an end in May 2022, when his third wife, Syeda Dania Shah, initiated divorce proceedings after just three months of marriage.

Hussain, born on July 5, 1971, in Karachi, is the son of the politician Sheikh Liaquat Hussain and the columnist Mahmooda Sultana.

Death

Aamir Liaquat Hussain passed away on June 9, 2022, in Karachi. According to a servant, he heard Liaquat screaming in pain from his locked room.

Upon investigation and receiving no response from him, the servant forcibly entered the room and discovered him lying unresponsive on the floor. Liaquat was immediately rushed to Agha Khan Hospital, where doctors declared him deceased, indicating that he had already passed away before his arrival. The police suspected that the cause of death may have been suffocation due to fumes from a household generator, but the official cause of death had not been confirmed at that time. Foul play had also not been ruled out in relation to his demise.

His funeral prayer took place on Friday, June 10, 2022, and was led by his son, Ahmed Aamir. He was laid to rest at the Abdullah Shah Ghazi graveyard without undergoing an autopsy, as his family opposed it despite the police’s insistence. On June 18, 2022, a local court ordered the exhumation of his body for a postmortem examination in response to a petition filed by a civilian. However, on August 16, 2022, the same local court reversed its previous order, and Aamir Liaquat’s autopsy was never conducted. In December 2022, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) arrested his third wife, Dania Shah, for misconduct related to the leaking of his private data on social media.

Television / Drams

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  • Inaam Ghar Plus
  • Subh-e-Pakistan
  • BOL House

Films / Telefilm

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