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A look at the life and times of Altaf Hussain’s ‘blue-eyed boy’

Aamir Liaquat was controversial not only because of his statements and multiple marriages but also his degrees
Published 09 Jun, 2022 04:23pm

Television personality and public figure Aamir Liaquat Hussain - who was found dead at his residence in Karachi on Thursday - was a man of many talents. A powerful orator with a strong command over the Urdu language, his speeches and monologues would be interspersed with references to Islamic verses and local poetry. It was his ability to hold his audience captive that made him one of Pakistan’s most sought-after television host. It also earned him the trust and confidence of MQM-P founder Altaf Hussain to the point where he was referred to as his ‘blue-eyed boy’.

Early influences

Aamir Liaquat was heavily influenced by his elder brother, Dr Imran Liaquat - a deeply religious man, to put it mildly. His mother Mehmooda Sultana was a columnist and his father Sheikh Liaquat Hussain was among the founding members of the Khidmat-e-Khalq Foundation. He was also very close to MQM founder Altaf Hussain. He was first close to Pir Pagara, the spiritual head of Sindh’s Hur community, before being with the MQM.

“Their mother was the main influence,” added Raza Haroon. “It is a loss. He was an amazing person.” Raza Haroon and other key MQM leaders saw Aamir Liaquat up close. Aamir Liaquat did not seek asylum to stay with Altaf in London, even though he was his “blue-eyed boy”. He stayed with Altaf Hussain day and night.

Political career and education

Hussain started his political career with a Muttahida Qaumi Movement ticket and was elected to the National Assembly of Pakistan for the first time in 2002 from NA-249 (Karachi-XI) constituency. He was appointed Minister of State for Religious Affairs and Zakat and Ushar Division in Shaukat Aziz’s cabinet in September 2004.

Hussain claimed he earned his Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree from Liaquat Medical College Jamshoro in 1995 and his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Islamic Studies from Trinity College and University in 2002.

Hussain’s BA degree in Islamic Studies from Trinity College and University was not recognised and declared false by Pakistan’s Higher Education Commission in 2006.

Aamir Liaquat’s political career was chequered at best. He became federal minister but managed to irritate Musharraf to the point that the party had to remove him.

The host was always embroiled in controversy from facilitating adoptions on his TV show in 2013 to leaked audios of him cussing while the camera was still recording. He has also fed contestants mangos on his show by hand, making for good meme fodder. No one can forget the iconic line, “aam khaye ga”.

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Aamir Liaquat Hussain

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