One of Pakistan’s most popular television talk show host has apologized for hate speech and “incitement to violence” comments which he made on his TV show back in 2008. During a live interview with Britain-based TV channel Liaquat also pleaded the UK Government to lift the travel ban against him.
In Liaquat’s 2008 program followers of the minority Ahmadiyya sect of Islam were declared “worthy of murder” and within 24 hours of the program being aired, a prominent member of the Ahmadiyya community was shot dead.
While giving an interview to Ata ul Haq of DM Digital, Liaquat said:
People change as time goes by, It has been 8 years and one changes with the passage of time and the program you are referring to, if you look at the content it was in no way inciting, however, some things were said which people had trouble understanding.
He further said:
The Ahmadi community is a peaceful community and in no way, this program (is against them)
I had no (hateful) intentions, neither do I have any now nor will I ever have, I want to live peacefully and lovingly with everyone and if anyone was offended or if their feelings were hurt, I would sincerely like to apologize.
Answering a question regarding the UK Travel ban, Liaquat said:
Britain has imposed a travel ban (on me) and the main reason for it was that 2008 program (against Ahmadis), I was not responsible in any way for that program. Whatever happened was a preplanned conspiracy. There is no example in the world where a person watched a tv show and then went out and killed someone.
After listening to what I have said, Britain should think why I need to come there. I am very important for Britain anyways, because of the work they are doing against Terrorism, holding Interfaith and peace conferences.
In 2014 Liaquat did a similar tv show in which he branded members of the Ahmadi community as “Enemies of Pakistan” and “enemies of Islam”.
This year in January Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) banned Aamir Liaquat’s TV show for hate speech after he accused rights activists of “Blasphemy”, which carries a mandatory death penalty in Pakistan.