Aamir Liaquat, shame on you for humiliating Taher Shah

Published: July 26, 2013

Soon after Shah joins Liaquat on stage, the TV show host ridicules his music and then gets personal commenting on his hair, making him turn around as if he was a circus creature. PHOTO: SCREENSHOT

Last night, a seven minute video clip went viral on social media. Many of you probably saw the video in question; it was the latest transmission of the Ramazan show Amaan Ramzan: Iftar Aamir Ke Saath.

For those of you who missed it, the video is a clip from a pre-Iftar show with Aamir Liaquat in which he invites Taher Shah – Pakistan’s latest sensation for good or bad reasons – as a guest.

This was not Mr Shah’s first public appearance since his video reached global fame. Earlier in June, Taher Shah gave an interview on the 4 Man Show. Despite featuring parodies of entertainment and political personalities, the show remains sensitive when interviewing real-life celebrities. 4 Man Show’s interview with Shah, while funny, did not cross the limits of respect.

Let’s not get into the debate on what Mr Shah’s music is like; the bottom line is – he’s popular. His fame, however, should not make him vulnerable to public humiliation; after all, pursuing one’s passion is not a punishable act. Unfortunately, Aamir Liaquat seems to think otherwise. The way he treated Shah on his show left me disgusted.

A man like Liaquat, whose own controversial video is still fresh in our memories from last year, has the guts to first invite a celebrity and then make fun of him based on rather personal attributes?

Here is my analysis of Liaquat’s behaviour over the seven minutes;

Soon after Shah joins Liaquat on stage, the TV show host ridicules his music and then gets personal commenting on his hair and even tugging it, making him turn around as if he was a circus creature. After asking a tasteless question of whether Taher Shah’s hair is real or fake, Liaquat proceeds to shock the audience by saying:

In baloon pe kissi din jinn ashiq ho jaye ga.

(Someday, a djin will fall in love with this hair.)

After requesting Shah to sing a few lines from his song “Eye to Eye”, Liaquat interrupts him, brings in a live snake and forces the singer to wrap it around his neck. At this point it was clear, with the harassed look on Shah’s face, that he was uncomfortable with the snake being around him, but the host, who had seemingly lost his mind, continued to badger him.

The singer’s voice turned shaky as he struggled to resume singing once the snake was set on the ground. In an overtly malicious voice, Liaquat continues to say, “gayen” (sing) repeating it at least 10 times in 13 seconds. When Shah’s discomfort with the snake being around is sensed, Liaquat says “mien saath hoon,gayen” (I’m right here, you sing); he says this while invading his guests’ personal space by wrapping his arms around his waist.

Upon Shah singing the song again, Liaquat suddenly offers his very own version of slapstick in a desperate attempt to look funny; making ‘comical’ facial expressions, looking into Shah’s eyes, the host then reaches out for a girl sitting next to him. You can clearly see how forcefully he grabs her head to make her pay attention to Shah.

As if the host alone was not enough, a cameraman soon joins the stage pushing; the cameraman comes straight into the distressed singer’s face to make him more self-conscious than he already was as Liaquat toys with Shah’s hair. All this time, the camera keeps going back and forth from the stage to the audience members, who seem to enjoy the circus act being put up for them.

I’m not a Taher Shah fan, unlike many of my friends who find him highly entertaining. However, watching his interviews, and particularly this one, has changed my opinion of him. His song may not be great, but his personality certainly is and the patience and humility he continues to show throughout those seven minutes of public humiliation is no ordinary task.

It was not just about what happened in this episode, but also about the ostensible philosophy of the show that revolves around the promotion of charity and Islamic values. Before every Sehri and Iftar, we see Liaquat giving lectures on morality and ethics Islam has taught, so my question to Liaquat would be,

“Are these preached values limited to seeking donations (read increasing the show’s ratings)?”

Charity is not the only virtue Islam has taught, respect for others has been give even great credence and respect is something that needs to be realised by Mr Liaquat and the audience members cheering the host’s reprehensible behaviour.

This should also serve as a reminder to those of us who have shared the video on social media forums for the sad purposes of humour.

Lastly, my note to Mr Liaquat is,

Dear Aamir Liaquat,

The values taught in Islam are more than just promoting charity, it also teaches us to respect our fellow human beings.


A fellow human being 

Do you feel Aamir Liaquat behaved appropriately or inappropriately with Taher Shah?

     View Results

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Farwa Zahra

Farwa Zahra is a Qatar-based journalist. She has studied Gender and Media at the London School of Economics. She tweets as @syedaz (twitter.com/syedaz)

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

  • http://t.co/01IpOoKSex S A

    That account is FAKE. Real one is /tahershahhRecommend

  • Nadir


  • http://rorolia.wordpress.com Xain Gardezi

    “It wasn’t for murder the gods cursed the Rat Cook, or for serving the King’s son in a pie… its because he hugged the guest from behind it, put a snake over his shoulder, ridiculed his song and asked his crew to focus on his sad face.”

    ― That is what Bran Stark said in Game of Thrones episode “Mysha”. Or something like it. Recommend

  • SK

    Well written! Is is simple we as a nation have no morality or respect for other! If person like amir liaqat can host a islamic charity show. This statement is itself laughable than eye to eye!Recommend

  • http://twitter.com/bohotsaara Sarah B. Haider

    Spot on. You just spoke my mind. I was writing a reply to an acquaintance on Facebook when someone tweeted the link to your timely blog. Sadly, some of the people I know belong to the shallow 5% (as shown by the poll here) who said,

    Taher Shah deserves every bit of it and much more!


    Is he Shafqat Amanat? Why should we respect him?’ This is what happens to shortcut singers who make way through viral and humor. I don’t see anything wrong!


    I would’ve done the same to this guy. Men who have long hair are rock stars and this guy is no rock star

    This just made me sad on the way people think. Just because Amir Liaquat throws free gifts at people, does it make him worthy of respect?
    People who supported Amir Liaquat’s buffoonery on this show need to learn some basic manners and get themselves some psychological help because they are apparently suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder.Recommend

  • Shah (Berlin)

    Good Article..No has the right to humiliate him in such a way..I also dont like the song but still there are limits which should not be crossed…Shame on Aamir Liaqat again…!!!Recommend

  • Awan

    no doubt, amir liaquat crossd all the limits while conducting tv show.. he must be apologized for all this humiliating attitude towards tahir shaw.. its the politeness of the guest tht he didn’t show any strong reaction otherws amir liaquat must be treated in a strict way.. Recommend

  • Nishant

    if anyone finds this funny
    i say
    rid the planet earth of your existence Recommend

  • citizen

    it was utter shameful act by amir. Humiliating a person on live public show is just too much. sue that man !Recommend

  • Bilal

    The resilience Taher showed was applaud-able. Anyone else would have smacked Amir without any remorse. Recommend

  • Hira Sayem

    I think we should look at ourselves first. Amir Liaquat acted this way because a large amount of people had already made fun of, and humiliated Taher Shah on Facebook and Twitter. Basically AL just mirrored our own actions-albeit on public television. We should stop ridiculing people on the whole- it’s a cheap kind of gratification.Recommend

  • http://mehmudahrehman.wordpress.com mehmudah

    This is so embarrassing. Who cares how the guy sings, but he totally humiliated him! Deplorable! Recommend

  • Curious

    Good article! Amir stop promoting charity when you can’t be personally charitableRecommend

  • Fawaz

    I saw this little video shared by someone on Facebook and I was completely disgusted with the foolish and shameless acts of Mr Amir Liaquat. I would have much preferred that Mr. Tahir Shah should have gone out of the show straight away after he was first ridiculed by the host. All Amir has conveyed to people is that it is perfectly ok to insult people. I would actually say that Tahir Shah should actually sue him.Recommend

  • Parvez

    Taher Shah’s standing just went up a zillion points. Thanks for sharing this because I had no idea as I refuse to watch these shows especially Amir Liaquat and Maya Khan Recommend

  • Zara

    Aamir Liaqat needs to understand that it is Ramzan show. He shouldn’t have invited Tahir shah to such show and if he had invited then he should have shown respect. Recommend

  • http://about.me/SaraMuzzammil Sara Muzzammil

    I can’t thank you enough for writing thisRecommend

  • SMA

    Cant beleive this happened on a Ramzaan show. What is he trying to teach people esp young kids who were watching the show? That it is okay to bully someone for cheap laughs? I cant beleive he hasnt learnt from what happened when his video went viral last year.

    Some people never learn. Recommend

  • Zaynub

    Everybody make his fun all the time, It’s just that Amir showed this off on screen ! Nothing much to talk about ! Why you people are now showing concern when Amir made fun of him? He did what you all do at your homes! People get a life ! Recommend

  • Khurram Awan

    People in our society love to degrade anyone and Amir liaquat is just a reflection of our society. Also Religion is a business and nothing else now a days and just look at Ramazan transmissions and you will understand that how Religion is exploited in everyday life.Recommend

  • John Snow

    Someone PLEASE make an online petition to GEO to remove aamir liaqat once and for all.

    I personally think his hypocritical video was enough to oust him from islamic shows and reveal his true face but this shameless display continues. We as a community need to end this once and for all and stop encouraging/promoting people with questionable personalities.Recommend

  • Falak Naz

    Shah was a guest on Liaquat’s show. Liaquat did very unethical behaviour with him. Whatever Shah applied a shortcut in singing is not concern. Doesn’t it mean that Shah have no respect… Every man have their self respect … Majority of people don’t like eye to eye but beyond doubt the song got popularity so what in a negative manner… Liaquat’s show are becoming now much entertaining rather informing!!! Recommend

  • what a bunch of

    All those audience people have no conscience it seems. They should have gotten up and left. At least had regard for the little girl. It’s a testament to this nation’s barbarism that it’s happy to watch an obviously badtameez showman, whose career should have crumbled long ago.Recommend

  • Clarus

    Aamir Bhai shouldn’t have done eye2eye this way.Recommend

  • MA

    initially when i watched the video i was laughing hard but amir liaqat, he was crossing his limits and one could easily see pettiness on the face of Taher Shah and then i realized what a big heart Taher has.Recommend

  • Reformist

    Aamir Liaquat is two faced. His rude manner of speaking and display of circus acts are nothing but expressions of hatred and contempt towards Taher Shah. Numerous times already has he resorted to hate speech, bigotry and religious discrimination in the past. So why not insult a man, that sings in a Western language?

    The responses on his show and his popularity in general (mostly among bored housewives) show how disrespect, intolerance and hate has spread in our society like a cancer.Recommend

  • Mariyam Khan Baloch

    Thankyou for your timely article. i so agree with you. and Im glad you pointed you the humiliating way Aamir Liaquat grabbed the little girl’s head. I found that so inappropriate. How can you grab a child so roughly? Where were her parents? Why didn’t they beat up Aamir Liaquat for behaving with their child that way?Recommend

  • Sarah Sajid

    WTH on this earth was that??AMIR was literally insulting that guy???Very sadRecommend

  • Khawar Hayat Khan

    Shame ….and all those who were sitting in the show and many other who wants to join him.spoiled the true spirit of Islam during Ramadan. Recommend

  • Faizan K.

    Its pathetic how so many people believe they have the moral high ground to condemn what Aamir Liaquat did to Taher Shah, ESPECIALLY after humiliating Taher Shah through their own Facebook statuses initially. Aamir Liaquat only humiliated him in public, something which half the people on Facebook have done already. Who gives you the right to judge Aamir when you yourself couldn’t restrain from absurd Eye to Eye statuses when the song was launched. What a load of bull from ET. Recommend

  • FN

    What I really want to say about Amir Liaquat won’t be published here. You get the hint.

    You can’t do that to people you call on your show. He himself is ridiculed by the educated for who he is.

    You make a silly/bad song you get the stick. Although it was a bit excessive indeed.
    But what AL did is just not acceptable. Felt for Taher Shah a bit. Poor guy! Recommend

  • zK

    I Feel Tahir Shah is a much better human being than the so called self proclaimed scholar A Liaqat sahab….atleast Tahir is from outside what he’s inside unlike MR AL!!!……whose true face has been openly exposed several times yet instead of being ashamed has the audacity to come on television shamelessly and do such disgusting things….big shame!!!!Recommend

  • Reformist

    How can anyone like Aamir Liaquat? He so theatrical, devious.Recommend

  • Silas

    Not only amir liaqat is to be condemned, the stupid audience who was enjoying it is to be condemned. tamashbeen pakistani qomRecommend

  • Muntaha

    Shame. Learn to respect people. You have no right to humiliate anyone especially when your conducting a Islamic show.
    Think about it. Recommend

  • http://pakistaniteen.wordpress.com PakistaniTeen

    People here need to decide whether they’re on Amir Liaquat’s side or Taher Shah’s side. And let me tell you, both sides are stupid.Recommend

  • http://pakistaniteen.wordpress.com PakistaniTeen

    Abused Taher Shah. Humiliated him continuously for 2 months and in just one day you are like ‘I respect Taher Shah’ Who’s the hypocrite now?Recommend

  • lalarukh asghar usman

    One must remember he is a human and tahir should b respected first as a human and singing is his profession criticism is good but humiliation is not and amir liaquat must watch when he is criticising and when he is humiliatingRecommend

  • Hammad

    It’s not Amir Liaquat whom I dislike more, it’s the people who still watch his program.Recommend

  • Zoya

    Yeah. That’s so sad. Recommend

  • Biig Dood

    Holy crow! That looks like a freakin’ python on him.
    Looks like Amir Liaqat has a lot of family viewers. I wonder how many of them believe in djinns.Recommend

  • IZ

    Amir Liaquat is the perfect exemplar of the brand of Islam practiced in Pakistan.Recommend

  • AamirIsFake

    When I watched Liaquat’s show a few years ago, I never imagined he would become such an obnoxious person like today. It is as if after the leaked vid, where he makes fun of a rape victim and uses foul language, and after being caught with his fake degrees, he instead of bettering himself went totally in the opposite direction.
    I deplore the mistreatment of Tahir Shah. I barely knew him (just from some headlines) and never heard his music, but he was a visitor of the programme, to whom hospitality should have been extended, not ridicule, embarrassment and insults. If Amir is so disturbed by his appearance and singing, why invite Tahir Shah in the first place?Recommend

  • http://syedaabidabokhari.wordpress.com The Only Normal Person Here.

    I dont know if anyone noticed but Taher Shah’s eyes welled up when Aami Liquat made fun of him but he tried to hide it behind a smile. Somebody needs to ask Aamir Liquat on his show “Galib film dakhi hai apne”Recommend

  • Karim

    Well done Farwa, i wanted to say everything you said but i just couldn’t find those words which you certainly did. Spot on.

    I think when Amir Liaquat will read this article or similar comments in the social media, he would rather me unconcerned and will definitely ignore it. It won’t mean much to him. You forgot to mention the most humiliating thing Amir did on the show, “Taher Shah awam ko aap ki shakal mein tafree mili hi.”

  • H

    You spoke my mind.Saw the video clip at sehri and have been fuming ever since.Thank you so much for writing this.I think Geo is equally to blame for airing it.Im quite certain this was done to crank up the ratings.How pathetic!Hats off to Taher Shah for keeping his cool.Amir Liaquat should be forced to offer a public apology.Recommend

  • jerseybb

    There are 28 idiots who think the behavior was appropriateRecommend

  • Ruby

    Taher Shah really is worthy of kind words and not harsh ones after what he went through
    on Amir Liaquat’s show. Live and let live is what it really is all about.Recommend

  • Mohammad Ali

    Come on people why to highlight amir liaquat`s guilt when you folks yourself make fun of him on social media. I rightfully ask @Author of this piece of writting, that haven’t you ever made fun of him on his song? Amir liaquat did that only for adding sort of fun… Recommend

  • Abdul Latif

    such a cheap thing done by Amir Liaqat, what he want to prove by doing this.. everyone know his character. and he has no right to humiliate person. this is unbearable. nice attitude shown by Taher shah is live show.. really appreciable. again not a good character shown by Amir Liaqat. Recommend

  • Shamy

    Its rather funny how you all can mock Taher Shah on other mediums like Facebook and Twitter, but when Amir Liaquat does it on TV, you all have a problem with him. Hypocricy at its best.Recommend

  • arif

    Well said! @Hira Sayem: Recommend

  • MA

    This man LA shouldn’t be allowed on TV at all. GEO has been burnt once before because of him, why do they use him still. For the Sensationilty and Ratings???Recommend

  • Safi

    Aamir Liaquat really shame on u.Recommend

  • Freya

    So what would you do if your friends or family or even neighbors publicly humiliate you? Would you say the same? Whatever we are showing on national television can change lives. It is because of this learning that Pakistan is a national failure! Recommend

  • Farhan Memon

    I really appreciate you for this article and that question is so strong that you have asked Aamir Liaquat…Recommend

  • Baloch

    Taher Shah <3Recommend

  • Ammar

    I really respect Tahir Shah for taking it so wellRecommend

  • zK

    Whatever criticism people were doing was on social media thats entirely different from inviting someone as guest and humiliating him in front of everyone. Its strange you cant see the difference! Recommend

  • EYM

    Speak for yourself. Just because a bunch of people resorted to such antics does not mean every one was okay with them. Even people on the internet mostly stuck to criticizing his song. There is a big difference between criticizing on the internet and publicly humiliating the person while he is standing next to you.
    Also, just because it has been happening does not mean it should not be stopped.
    For God’s sake!Recommend

  • Morons

    What else would you expect from present day Mullahs??Recommend

  • Saima

    I’m also not a fan of Tahir shah, and even i did’t had the patience to watch the complete video of his ‘eye to eye’. But I really felt very bad for him, the way he was humiliated by a so called ‘Islamic scholer’. Recommend

  • Muhammad Ishfaq

    I’m one of those lucky few who decided not to see Taher Shah’s Eye to Eye and certainly one of the luckiest people who dont watch Aamir Liaqat’s circus either. But hats off to Farwa Zahra for timely raising the issue. Yes, many of us may have insulted Taher in our personal comments and its definitely wrong to do this. But when you are hosting a live Ramadan Transmission which happens to be the most popular one, you should show some manners at least.
    Never liked Aamir but now beginning to hate him.Recommend

  • Sehr

    This is the official page of his show, ENDLESS comments of ‘followers’ full of praise, prayers for his success, requests for HIS prayers and people begging to take part in his show.


    Please PLEASE everyone go and express your sentiments for the organizers of his show and the world to see. Recommend

  • Wadood Ahmed

    I think Mr liaquat hasn’t learned anything from his past. He is already alleged of using abusive language on live TV show, but instead of removing that scandal he is deliberately creating new scandals. Recommend

  • Karim

    @Mohammad Ali:

    What Amir did was mock him in a different way.
    Its so disappointing. Recommend

  • abc

    As cheesy, cheap and laughable Taher Shah’s songs might be, the man deserves the utmost respect and appreciation for giving Pakistanis a rare reason to laugh and smile at a time when the country is plagued by so many issues.

    He had no right to be ridiculed in this manner Recommend

  • Ammar

    Good read . My thoughts exactly and what’s the deal with the snake , isn’t it considered a symbol is satanism or something.Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli

    cartoons of the century Tahie shah, Amir liaqat Husain, interviews on t,v….Recommend

  • Hirah Siddiqui

    you just spoke my words, Amir’s behavior was really humiliating no matter who Tahir Shah was you can not humiliate your guest after inviting him. Recommend

  • Samuel

    Taher Shah is not a great singer, but he is a good entertainer. We as Pakistanis are facing a hard time pushed into a under performing state. This man has made many smile apart from the criticism. He didn’t attack any person of the public to gain popularity but instead used himself to make this song. What Amir Liaqat did was very wrong by treating him like a circus freak and then throwing in a python thats just rediculous. He should be warned by the concerned authorities that such behavior will not be tolerated. Recommend

  • Shahmir

    I can’t even believe that even 3% of these ill maned people can be so disrespectful.
    Tahir shah zindabad!Recommend

  • http://sheroo shehryar

    taher shah really deserves some respect
    the video was very saddening and disturbing

  • mairy

    @Mohammad Ali:
    fun or insult ko differentiate krna seekho.. Recommend

  • Jat

    How many of you supported Sana Bucha when she left Geo; totally mortified at this thing’s antics ?

    Pakistanis – time for introspectionRecommend

  • Aina Maria Waseem

    As a Pakistani, I am really grateful to you for writing this. We in Pakistan are increasingly losing our tenuous hold on what is right and wrong, and are leveraging their screen presence to further confuse the matter. Taher Shah sang a ridiculous song, but that didn’t give Aamir the right to INVITE him on his show and then proceed to humiliate him. It was bad enough him arranging a live song on a so-called Ramadan show.Recommend

  • Sarah Imran

    Mr Aamir Liaquat ,taher shah worked his life off and got his education. You have no right to insult him or anyone.Atleast he’s a self made man.Recommend

  • kiran.

    but we still love our nice brother Dr.Aamir Liaqat Hussain…who is working hard for spreading the light of ISLAM.Recommend

  • Sania Aziz

    what he is doing insulting others why our media can’t through this person off? Why audiences didn’t react in favour of Taher on same show . I have no more words to express my feeling of being part of this hopeless nation.Recommend

  • kiran.

    but we still love our nice brother Dr.Aamir Liaqat Hussain because he is working hard for spreading the light of ISLAM in Polite wayRecommend

  • Fayyaz

    Disgusting, Shameful.


  • Shamim I

    strong textI must say after I saw this I felt the need to appreciate Taher Shah for being so calm and patient .He actually became the example of how a real Muslim should react .Way to go Taher Shah!Recommend


    @Mohammad Ali:

    It isn’t fair to compare critique or even humor based on his song to inviting and personally humiliating him in a televised event. Yes, I have made fun of Taher Shah’s “Eye to Eye”(only the song and nothing else. It’s the insecure who feel the need to lash out at someone’s personal features) but I would never invite him over to my house with the specific intention of hurting his feelings.Recommend

  • Jawad

    Amir Liaquat tops the list, yeh hip hip hureyyy :)Recommend

  • Maria

    Shame on you Amir Liaqat!Recommend

  • Shahid

    The long-haired, clean shaven singer has more understanding of the divine in one strand of his hair. Recommend

  • Natasha

    Wow that was sooo disrespectful!!Recommend


    aamir liaquat did all this insult intentionally–Recommend

  • observingo


  • mind control

    My vote for Taher Shah.

    Even though I am not a fan of his singing prowess, the gentleman showed utmost grace under trying circumstances.


  • Sheikh Saadi


    People here need to decide whether they’re on Amir Liaquat’s side or Taher Shah’s side. And let me tell you, both sides are stupid.

    So, what you believe is- Choose what you may you are still stupid.

    Boy, for a teen you have rare self awareness.

    And, now that you know that you are stupid, What are you going to do about it?Recommend

  • ET

    @Sarah B. Haider:
    You are absolutely right.Recommend

  • Pakistani

    Excuse me Zeynub, no one made fun of Tahir Shah at homes, everyone made fun of the song he sang. But Amir Liaqat made fun of Tahir and humiliated him in front of many people on a live show. No one has the right to do so while making fun while sitting at home is something totaly different. I think you need some kind of common sense.Recommend

  • pasha khan

    Well-said Farwa.
    We r watching Aamir Liaqat.
    in different TV shows for last couple of years.In my earnest
    Opinion he has multifaceted personality & mentally still immature,
    though strives
    hard to be sober.Still he has lot of room to improve.


  • mind control

    Moderator ET- I protest the curtailing of my post.


  • ali

    strong texta very shame on amir liaquat and geo team.to make bad fun on tahir shahRecommend

  • ali

    Shame on you Amir Liaqat, You are too small infront of Mr. ShahRecommend

  • Farah.S

    I don’t watch Amir Liaquat and Maya khan, as simple as that. However all this rage should be directed at GEO TV. They are so so Proud of Amir Liaquat and success of their Ramazan

    Secondly, what about our society, people of this country who watch Amir Liaquat religiously every day gthrough out this month. His program’s get highest ratings. We are a nation of hypocrites.Recommend

  • Maverick

    We all hate Amir Liaqat!! No doubt, he is despicable! But im just shocked and confused at the level of hypocrisy shown by our people. The same people who made insulting remarks much greater than Amir Liaqat about his hair, his facial expression, his famous white suit and ofcourse his song and what not, are now defending him on the same account and are actually saying ” hmmm,i kinda like Tahir Shah now”!! How does one respond to that!!Recommend

  • Adeela Aleem

    Aamir liaquat behaviour toward Taher Shah was very humiliating and disgusting . He should be ban on t.v.Recommend