In what possibly could be a television first, a highly rated Pakistani talk show is relying on babies as giveaway prizes to ensure that ratings remain high.
Reuters reports that Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, is usually a time when ratings slip.
But the south-central Asian nation’s Geo Television Network plans on staying at the top of the audience heap by having their top-rated talk show host Aamir Liaquat Hussain refrain from the usual prizes of motorcycles and cell phones.
Hussain’s Islamic knowledge quiz show, Aman Ramazan, (loosely translated: Safe Ramadan) is now giving away babies live on the air.
With the grand prize of a newly presented infant provided by the Chhipa Welfare Association, a Pakistani aid organisation, its director Ramzan Chhipa stated proudly, “In a day or two, the next baby will be given away, God willing.”
Chhipa notified Pakistan‘s abjectly poor via the internet that it would be better for them to give up their children to “Doctor” Hussain’s Pakistan version of The Price is Right than killing them.
Despite his university degree having been exposed as fraudulent, Hussain still remains one of Pakistan’s most beloved and influential television personalities. He is so popular, in fact, that when he hosted Muslim clerics in 2008 who denounced the persecuted Ahmadi religious minority, two prominent Ahmadis were gunned down and eventually died.
During the same broadcast, Hussein declared that the killings of Ahmadis to be right and just under Islamic law.