Pakistan’s shock televangelist dies at 50

Pakistan’s shock televangelist dies at 50

One of Pakistan’s most prominent and contentious TV hosts, Aamir Liaquat Hussain, has died aged 50 after being found unconscious at home in Karachi.

The anchor was taken to hospital but pronounced dead on arrival. A post mortem exam is being carried out.

Aamir Liaquat Hussain switched from televangelism to politics, becoming an MP for Imran Khan’s PTI party.

His career was dogged by controversy – he gave babies to childless couples on TV and was banned for hate speech.

The outspoken anchor’s personal life was public fodder too, often fuelled by his activities on social media.

In the last chapter of his life, he married for a third time but it ended publicly and acrimoniously within months. His 18-year-old bride Dania Shah filed for divorce in May, accusing him of domestic abuse and being a drug addict.

Hussain released a video calling the marriage a “fiasco” and dismissing the allegations as fake news – but he also referred to being depressed by the things said about him on social media after all he had done for Pakistan and vowed to leave the country.

Aamir Liaquat Hussain, who worked for many of Pakistan’s leading media houses over his career, was undoubtedly popular with a section of the population but many others found him highly divisive.

An eloquent speaker and a great showman who guaranteed ratings, his broadcasts were well scripted, and included religious sermons – as well as frequent abuse.

There were regular complaints from those whom the televangelist named and shamed on his shows. He would accuse people of acts such as blasphemy, treachery or fornication. (Courtesy BBC)

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