The Islamabad High Court’s decision in the final month of the year to take Dr Amir Liaquat Hussain off television, radio and print media until further notice was probably a terrible miscue of fate in the eyes of the doctor.
After all, he was just out of a job, having left Bol News less than a month before over monetary disputes, and was probably already combing through his options for the next ship to sail when he discovered he was virtually unemployable.
And while the last couple of months were a particularly heavy whirlwind of activity, they were not his only brushes with attention (and the law) in the year past.
Jumping ship to Bol, duking it out with Rishi Kapoor by cooking Kapooras on live TV, taking on his former employers Geo, accusing activists of blasphemy, getting banned from TV and getting around that by making with a Guy Fawkes mask on his face – Aamir Liaquat did all this and more in 2017, being banned and unbanned another couple of times in between for good measure.
He also gets the PEMRA award for most bans and fines for the year 2017.
One might just feel a trifle nostalgic at this point about Dr Amir’s removal from television, but as precedent shows, he will probably be back.
Short absences aside, Amir Liaquat has been a mainstay on the Pakistani television screen for nearly two decades now, and it’ll take a lot more to see him off for good.
A man of many talents, the good doctor has filled in as a radio jockey, televangelist, political analyst, game show and cooking show host – many of these at the same time. But perhaps his greatest talent is his malleability – the way he manages to mould himself to whatever role he is put in.
Whatever one may think of Amir Liaquat, he is undeniably good television, and he has the ratings to back him up.
So don’t count him out just yet. Already having joined another private television channel at an administrative post, one can just sense he is waiting for his big comeback.