Pakistan

KARACHI – Aamir Liaqat Hussain has once again surprised Pakistani audiences by releasing a shocking promo for his new game show in the Islamic month of Ramazan.


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The controversial presenter, who is currently affiliated with infamous BOL TV, will appear on screens in ‘Ramazan mein BOL’ – a new game show on the pattern of his previous transmissions where he will give away several gifts and cash prizes.

But, this time, the entertainer has something nobody coming to a TV show could have imagined: 3 airplanes as a prize.

Amir Liaquat sent his fans and general public into a frenzy on Friday when he gave details of his upcoming show.

The game show – “Ramazan mein BOL” – which will air on Saturdays and Sundays at 10pm, includes three airplanes, 30 houses, 60 cars, hundreds of kilograms of gold, and other cash prizes.

“There will be no wait, as the prizes will be given away on the spot,” he announced in a promotional video, further claiming that after watching his show, people will agree to accept “Pakistan mein game show aise hi chale ga” (This is the way game shows will run in Pakistan).

However, the channel removed the video from its official Facebook page after a while.

Ban on BOL

Earlier this month, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) revoked the licences of Bol News and Bol Entertainment, whose parent company has been dogged by a scandal involving the sale of fake online degrees.

The ban came after the Interior Ministry rejected security clearance of the company’s directors Shoaib A Shaikh, Ayesha Shoaib Sheikh, Viqas Atiq and Sarwat Bashir.

The move also came after the regulator received a string of complaints about the network’s news content and accusations that its top anchors, including Amir Liaquat Hussain, were using hate speech.

The BOL network has been beleaguered by controversy since its inception and was able to go on air only late last year. Its parent company, Axact, was embroiled in a criminal investigation in 2015 after The New York Times published an article revealing that Axact was making tens of millions of dollars a year selling fake degrees and diplomas online. Government investigators moved quickly against the company and shut down its offices across the country.

Shoaib Ahmed Shaikh, the chief executive and one of the directors of the company, was arrested and is out on bail.

Bol TV network said it would revolutionize the country’s news media industry, attracting journalists with high salaries and using the most modern, high-tech equipment.

But in recent months, it has been the target of much criticism. One of its top anchors, Aamir Liaquat Hussain, came under fire for accusing some bloggers and rights activists critical of the country’s powerful military of blasphemy.

Hussain was temporarily suspended and later allowed to host his show ‘Aise Nahi Chale Ga’ this year.

‘Game on’

Amir Liaquat Hussain is not crazy or irrational, but generous considering his previous shows. But isn’t offering airplanes as prize in a game show during the month of fasting too much?

The million dollar question about multi- million dollars planes is what people will actually do with them. Hope they don’t ‘fly high’ like the show host in their ultra expensive aero-prizes – only if they could afford jet fuel – and end up crashing in a sky high building.

To quote irony’s favourite catchphrase, what could go wrong?