Karachi/Islamabad: A controversial Pakistani preacher gave away a third baby to a childless couple on his live religious TV show on Friday, defying critics who say he started the practice to boost the ratings of his programme.
Aamir Liaquat Hussain, 41, the anchor of "Aman Ramzan", a 12-hour show beamed live from Karachi on Geo network during the holy month of Ramzan, handed over an infant boy to Hina, a woman with a MA in mass communications.
`"I want to tell everyone that they dont realise what it means for a childless couple to be able to adopt a baby. In Islam, it is the greatest good you can do in life," Hina said as her husband sat beside her.
The couple named the boy Aman Ali after the show.
"Some people in the foreign media have accused me of giving away babies to childless couples to get higher ratings," Hussain told PTI during a break in his show.
"There are people who have abused me, sad bad things about me. But the love and affection I get from people and the happiness I bring to childless couples is enough reward for me."
A few weeks ago, Hussain stunned the audience by saying he would give away a baby to a couple that had been childless for 14 years.
A baby girl picked from a garbage heap by the NGO Chhipa Welfare Organisation was brought to his show, wrapped in pink, by Muhammad Ramzan Chhipa, chief of the organisation, and Hussain handed over the child to an emotional woman.
Another infant girl was given away during a live show last month.
The live coverage of the handing over of babies created a storm and Hussain`s critics described it as an unethical move to improve ratings in the highly competitive Ramzan market.
Undeterred by such criticism, the management of Hussain`s show announced he would give away a third child to a "deserving couple".
A statement on Hussain`s website even exhorts poor families to hand over babies to the preacher so that they can be given away on his show.