June 27, 2012
Z B Saigol
KARACHI: It is confirmed that Dr Amer Liaquat has returned to his roost at Geo. Yesterday I had accurately speculated in my report for JournalismPakistan.com that there was a good possibility the ‘pious’ doctor might ditch ARY and return to Geo, the channel that not only made him an “Aalim Online” but a superstar of sorts.
Today Mir Ibrahim Rehman, CEO Geo Network, warmly welcomed the return of his prodigal anchor and founding member of Team Geo with a letter addressed to Geo employees, informing them of Liaquat’s return to the network in a position of increased responsibility.
According to Mir Ibrahim’s letter of welcome, all differences with Liaquat had been ironed out and on his return he would be wearing three hats.
a) As Vice-President of Geo TV Network and part of the Network Committee, he would be part of important decisions regarding the network.
b) He would also supervise the “Geotainment” department with the responsibility of spreading knowledge and information and producing religious programming along with other Geotainment programs.
c) As Group Executive Director and Editor Religious Affairs, he would be available to guide on religious content for the Jang/Geo Group.
Mir Ibrahim said he had a lot of confidence in Liaquat’s capabilities and reiterated the management would extend full support to him in promoting and strengthening the reputation of the organization.
Very conveniently no mention was made of the leaked pre-program prepping videos that surfaced in February this year which showed this so-called religious expert using abusive language and insensitive remarks for a troubled woman. The leaked videos went viral back then.
It also sparked differences with the Geo management that resulted in Liaquat quitting and taking his piousness on a tour of sorts, including one to the USA. But that now appears to be a mere hiccup.
Apparently the Geo management has been encouraged by the thick-skinned approach adopted by Dunya TV towards controversial anchor Meher Bukhari who has managed to hang on to her job despite messing up big time alongside fellow anchor Mubashar Lucqman while prepping for an interview with property tycoon Malik Riaz.
Having got his way, Liaquat is expected to do as he pleases.
When I spoke to some people on the street, they were aghast at the news. Here are some of the reactions I encountered:
“What? He is back.”
“This has got to be a joke, right?”
“If that man advises me on religion, there is no telling what I might do. There is nothing simple or honest about him. This is a crazy decision. I’m disgusted.”
But we have short memories. Meher is still there, so why not Liaquat?
(Z B Saigol is a guest writer)
*The views expressed by the writer do not necessarily reflect the views of JournalismPakistan.com
Pakistan Today, November 28, 2016