Aamir Liaquat: The second coming

Published: July 6, 2012

Flashy, flamboyant and witty in his televangelism, Aamir Liaquat is a burning bright spot in an otherwise drab landscape of mirthless religious pundits.

Remember when Superman lost his life in a war against the seemingly unstoppable alien, Doomsday, in order to defend Metropolis?

Except it turned out that he hadn’t really died and instead was actually just recharging in a Kryptonian regeneration mix for a few months so that he could return – fully alive and functional (notwithstanding that terribly embarrassing mullet).

Now, Pakistan’s Ramadan hero, Dr Aamir Liaquat, will be joining the ranks of famed second comebacks so favored by comic books and holy scriptures.

Yes, the rumor mill got it right this time around. Liaquat, who has often fallen from grace in the eyes of many Pakistanis - mostly due to his systemic discrimination against religious minorities and a leaked video of the nation’s favourite commerical Mullah launching expletives and giggling at rape - will be returning to his original stomping grounds, Geo TV.

Since mid-June Pakistani Twitterai was abuzz with the Aalim’s possible comeback.

Equally abuzz was Geo which was busy shamelessly promoting the fact that ‘Someone is Coming’ by way of teasers, quarter-page advertisements, and this.

Undoubtedly, Geo’s apology and the reinstating of the Aalim, with much pomp and circumstance, is a score composed solely of dollar signs. Just the way you have to put forth the chocolate to have kids eat their vegetables, Geo knows it needs to put forth a tried, trusted and true honey trap which will guarantee that your Ramadan of samosas, lassi, and the Qasida Burda is complete. Geo’s Ramadan is mega-lucrative after all.

Cue Aamir Liaquat.

Like a UN Goodwill Ambassador helping spur Geo’s economy, he has returned to the very network he once alleged was responsible for leaking the much contested, expose-all video. Also, the same network from which he was let go following a broadcast in which he urged fundamentalist Muslims to kill members of Pakistan’s minority Ahmaddiya population.

Flashy, flamboyant and witty in his televangelism, Aamir Liaquat is a burning bright spot in an otherwise drab landscape of mirthless religious pundits. As our source flatly puts it:

Last year he did very well at ARY; and viewers thrive on emotion- he knows how to cater to that and he knows ke TV business ko kaisey chilana hai (how to run the TV business)”.

In an era of meticulously managed and manicured celebrity personas, Liaquat is a salacious mix of both.

First, he reels you in. Your eyes are drawn into whichever gaudy sherwani he’s decided to don that day. Then, the rest of you is sucked in too, as he begins, with bullet point precision, to lay down the (Islamic) law.

So what if his questionable off-screen persona  probably wouldn’t stand up under Sharia cross-examination?

He’s got the nation hooked on his dosage of flashy religion. Whichever TV network is featuring him doesn’t even have to do much to sell him to us viewers. Just like the three most comforting words,  ‘By Steven Spielberg’ on a blockbuster movie trailer, Dr Aamir Liaqaut with that 50′s coif and slim-cut, bejewelled sherwani is the most comforting image alongside your packaged Medina ke khajoors this Ramadan.

Geo knows this. So, naturally they are going to milk this cash cow dry. Cha-ching, jackpot.

However, forgetting Aamir Liaquat’s prior transgressions (fake degrees, profanity, racist bigotry) would be like forgetting what Ahab was trying to kill in Moby Dick

Now to be fair, who knows what amount of authority he’ll be able to throw around as one of the  head honchos of Geo. Our source is equally unsure of the exact degree of authority but is of the opinion that there will be little impact on Geo News and more so on Geo Entertainment.

Regardless, all this has been enough to elicit a collective ‘Hawww’ from the majority of us confused bystanders who haven’t felt this flabbergasted in quite some time (which on a Pakistani timeline is, unfortunately, 10 days).

And it has been enough to warrant some drastic action on the part of some very unhappy people within the Geo network.

On July 1 the good folks at Cafe Pyala reported that:

“…A full blown revolt has now erupted within Geo’s editorial management…among the people said to be extremely unhappy, are Managing Director Geo News Azhar Abbas, Director Content Development Muaaz Ghamdi and star anchors like Sana Bucha (Lekin), Najam Sethi (Aapas Ki Baat) and Ifthikhar Ahmed (Jawaabdeyh)”.

There were also reports of an internal petition being circulated against Mr Jeem’s reappointment.

Today our source confirmed that Sana Bucha may possibly be leaving Geo. But as of this morning it was not yet confirmed whether Sana Bucha had tendered her official resignation – all that had been confirmed was that Maria Memon would once again be stepping in to host Sana Bucha’s Lekin this week.

“In Pakistani media, log kum hotay hain (there are very few peopleand if someone is doing a good job usko (dusra network) utha leyta hai ( the other networks hire them). So this is not only about Aamir Liaquat. It’s about (Sana Bucha) getting a better deal and knowing she can while she’s at the top of her game,” said the source.

“One thing is for sure – the issue with Aamir Liaquat and her could be resolved,” the source added.

That folks, is only just one screw of a very large and dizzying merry-go-round that is Pakistani media.

What with the return of Aamir Liaquat, Dunya TV’s sacking of Mubasher Lucman, Sana Bucha’s alleged resignation, and Meher Bokhari erring on the wrong side of professional ethics, perhaps the only real way Pakistani media can entertain us any further is by way of a mass collaboration featuring all its past fallen heroes and heroines.

Read more by Maria here or follow her on Twitter @mariakari1414

Maria Kari

Maria Kari

A freelance writer and journalist currently based in Vancouver, BC. She writes on South Asian and Middle Eastern politics, portrayals of Islam in the West and the occasional preoccupation with pop culture faddism and tweets at @mariakari1414.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Eeman

    I’m utterly disappointed. Hypocrisy drips from this man’s face. We have lost ethics of journalism. Recommend

  • Abdullah Nizamani

    The way people reacted on come back of Aamir Liaquat, lets hope they would continue same attitude against politicians as well. Pakistani were considered to be a nation with weak memory by now we can say no! our memory is no more weak. Bravo!Recommend

  • http://pakistani-revival.blogspot.com Ovais

    About that ahmediya thing … its a reality … many people agree with him … he is not the highest of all , and abuses like everyone of us, but his stands on ahmeddiya and Prophets cartoon has been exemplary .. Recommend

  • Ali Mushtaq

    Disappointed!!!Recommend

  • Yusuf

    His anti Ahmedi talk led to the deaths of three Pakistanis, yet NO action was taken against him! Recommend

  • alicia

    Now our Ramadan will be spent watching women gush over his Kurtas and sherwani.
    Recommend

  • Pinky

    whenever “jeem” announced “koi aa raha hai”, i always thought it would be chay, hay or khay ;p this was a nasty surpriseRecommend

  • http://wwww.bigostudios.pk Safeer-e-Hussain

    They call it Awaam kay pur zoor israar par. Like Seriously ? Where is that Awaam ?Recommend

  • Ahsan

    Ghalib film daikhe aapne?

    If not, GEO is playing Ghalib film on eid because AL has returned to GEORecommend

  • confused

    which movie have you seen this time, amir liaquat?Recommend

  • Parvez

    Bad move by Geo TV.Recommend

  • Khalida Ali

    regardless of who comes and who goes.. i hope Dr. Bilal remains..and i believe there are more important issues to be highlighted than Amir Liaquat’s new job..Recommend

  • Pagall

    Pakistan Zindabad
    Choor raaj ha yahanRecommend

  • ishaq

    Aamir Liaquat: The second coming “Media in its Worst Shape”Recommend

  • Muhammad Jawad Shayeq

    We haven’t lost ethics of journalism,we have lost ethics of Humanity, which thus is leading masses to be insane !Recommend

  • Shafiq

    Deliciously written!

    Recommend

  • Hafeez

    @Safeer-e-Hussain:
    According to cafe Pyala it is all the doing of Mir Shakil ur Rehman’s mother :) Recommend

  • ustad-leylee!

    @Ovais: How has his stance against ahmaddiya been exemplary? mind shedding some light on it? Recommend

  • Shahid

    Not only this, he is also the Vice President of Geo now and also the head of Geo Entertainment channel!Recommend

  • Sane

    This man must be banned forever. One must know that once he was called ‘Liaquat TT’. Having no knowledge and lost credibility how any channel make him to appear again. People still remember his language (thanks you tube). Even then GEO wants him to come again?!! Very very surprising. GEO shall tarnish its image.Recommend

  • Muhammad Farhan

    Assalam-o-Alekum to All

    I would say that do not blame or comments to any one because “Dil Ka Hall Allah hi janta he”
    as a muslim this is our responsibility that do not blame to other human’s personal life. Only focused your self because after the death every person will be questioned regarding his own life.

    So Please make Muslaman and Do not spread hate between MuslimsRecommend

  • Adeel

    How to make a comeback after losing millions and your reputation? Recommend

  • sars

    @Pinky:
    um i think he could be loosely called one of those:)Recommend

  • ghaaalib

    which reminds me? ghaalib film dekhi hai aapne?Recommend

  • Ayesha Pervez

    I used to like him… but after those video leaks… I really dont like him at all. Recommend

  • T

    @Muhammad Farhan:
    I agree with you.! we’re too busy in finding flaws in others like we are hell perfect in our lives. Recommend

  • Big Rizvi

    Ghalib 2: Reloaded! Now showing at a Geo TV channel near you.Recommend

  • Noise

    The public seems to like him, all those star struck aunties and uncles that call him on his show. They truly deserve this guy.Recommend

  • T

    @Muhammad Farhan:
    Are you serious dude? What has Amir Liaqat been spreading?Recommend

  • http://www.atif2win.webs.com Atif Masood Chaudhry

    Other factors behind it not “Awaam ki Awaz” Recommend

  • http://caffeinedose.wordpress.com Asad

    I don’t know why we get so emotional about individuals on TV. They are there for money and channels hiring them are also making money. They’d show us what we like to see. The reason Amir has been rehired is that this time not only those who love him would see his programme but also those who hate him would see his programme because Aamir has created so much controversies and we all like to follow controversial celebrities. I really don’t want to comment on the intention of Sana Bucha but she has also put herself in a position in which she can cash more than she was already getting before. It’s a simple equation

    Get hired -> Create Controversy – > Leave/fired

    Get hired somewhere else -> MAKE MORE MONEY -> Create Controvery -> Leave/Fired

    Get rehired by the first channel -> MAKE SIGNIFICANT MONEY – > Create Controversy – > Leave/fired

    And in the due course, get paid by the people like Malik Riaz etc as well

    So it’s money, money and money only.Recommend

  • elementary

    @Muhammad Farhan: What if that muslim is a liar ,hate monger and obviously disobeys God.Recommend

  • http://twiiter.com/Asad84 AA

    Admit it or not, for TV channels two extremes ie. vulgarity and religion are the two most selling commodities. That’s why we have ARY Muzik and Qtv in the same Media GroupRecommend

  • yousaf

    @author::I was already much confused about Mr.Aamir Liaqat’s past behaviour (shown through hidden cameras).I thank-you for confusing me furtherRecommend

  • Maddy Khan

    Unfortunately, we as a nation love critisizing, scandalizing, abusing and blaming people especially over a cup of tea. But as inviduals and responsible citizens, we should rise up against such immoralities in the society rather read-comment-hate-forget.

    Anybody any suggestion for what we can all do to condemn and prove that atleast so called AWAAM is not involved in this dirty money business?Recommend

  • http://www.salmanzq.com salman

    @Muhammad Farhan: please make musalman? Is that a new pickup line?Recommend

  • Hassan

    I thinnk we all should call on his show today and ask him ” aamir yaar Galib film dekhi hai tum ne?” Recommend

  • azad khyal

    Aamir liaqat return on geo just fr making money because all chanels are BSRecommend

  • aa

    shamelessRecommend

  • Sane

    @Moderator
    Thank you for wiping off my comments.Recommend

  • Asad

    zabardast post….Recommend

  • Sane

    @Kalchakra
    Take the comments of this post as poll. And assess whether ‘Pakistanis’ want to hear him or not. This man is meant only to discredit real scholars.Recommend

  • Nasamajh

    @sars: hahahaha..i am loving it :DRecommend

  • Maher

    This RAMADAN we will see Mirza Ghalib on GEORecommend

  • Fehmeed

    I think we had a very good Ramadaan watching his transmission late into the night in Australia. We look forward to seeing him again this year.
    As for his video collage, I found it a bit funny. Earlier I used to wonder that he can’t be so machine like in real life. See the collection of off-screen clips it felt like he was like everyone else. He has a sense of humour.
    Naturally it was from off screen content and was stolen and compiled by a thief. It was not meant to be broadcasted.It is like someone recorded him in the toilet.
    Anyways, we do look forward to seeing him again this Ramadaan..Recommend

  • Rahim Mawani

    Ghalib film dekhi hay aap nay????? ;)Recommend

  • Muhammad Yaqub

    Not surprised. From a nation of murderers, rapists, women bashers, suicide bombers, robbers. thieves, hypocrites, terrorists, usurpers and above all a nation that knows ‘No Fear’ even from Allah. What do you expect?? Recommend

  • Naveed

    no tension guys, everything is just alright….chill and

    beghairat ban ke geo !Recommend

  • amjad

    Aamer Liaqat represents all that is bad in Muslim society- a hypocrite of the worst kind. It shows how low society has gone when a fraudster can make it back to a TV show.Recommend

  • hassan

    @elementary:

    Don’t tell me that you know for sure that the one you are talking about disobeys god when all you’ve seen or heard are some videos on you-tube and that might be only one side of the story. First we shall try and redeem ourselves, then maybe we get a right to talk trash about others.Recommend

  • hassan

    @Sane:
    I thought there were about 19 crore ‘Pakistanis’ in this country. and I can see about 50 comments on this page. I don’t think that this can be considered the opinion of the whole Pakistan.Recommend

  • Sane

    @hassan
    remaining (19 crore – 50) did not commented positive about Amir Liaquat on this blog. Therefore, their opinion is taken otherwise and concludes that 19 crore i.e. 190 million Pakistani are dead against him.Recommend

  • ThisMeansWar

    All his “transgressions” apart… His step on Ahmeddiyyah’s is well appreciated. And since I didn’t know that… Now I want him back on GEO!!!Recommend

  • sherry

    n mostly he is exploiting women from all classes of society, more than 80 % calls start with a woman sayin , “Aaaaamir bhai , kese hen ap”Recommend

  • Vicky

    @Naveed:

    Walla! … so true.Recommend

  • FR

    pakistani media is losing its credibility. abusing freedom of pressRecommend

  • Mosa

    You already see the real face of amir then why you even listening to himRecommend

  • Ahmed aved

    @Ovais:
    I dont get why people are so horrified by this. To be fair, i dont think this is such a big scandal, if it is at all. Many people, myself included, swear a lot and make untimely and rude jokes. I also happen to pray at all. We should also look at the good someone is trying to achieve, not always try to find defects.
    Pehley apnay ghairibaah ko achee tarah jhaank lein, phir bolain.Recommend

  • Jawad U Rahman

    A bigger atrocity than bringing him back is to continue to call him “Doctor” Aamir Liaquat Hussain. Seems like Geo and Aamir Liaquat together are rubbing it in.Recommend

  • Maher

    I don[‘t understand what the hell is going on, Galib is back at Geo, Maya Khan is back and doing Ramadan programs on ARYRecommend

  • Haroon Gul

    If no one still understands that he is one of the biggest hypocrite and a money grubbing cheat with lack of any knowledge of the religion,then i think that the people deserve to watch these hypocrites and and they deserve to walk on that path.Shameless people are left only to host TV shows.Recommend

  • Prove geo wrong

    There are no real values of commercial tv channels as the are there to make profits by producing and broadcasting what people like to watch. He is brought back as geo tv thinks that he brings with him large viewership. For those who have displayed there dislike please back it up by not watching his program.Recommend

  • ahmad

    i like geo tv but not this manRecommend

  • Sajjad Manzoor

    I dn’t like this person i really dnt know why.Recommend

  • Truth Seeker

    This is a highly biased article without any solid reasoning just to deteriorate the image of Dr.Amir Liaqat hussainRecommend