Aamir Liaquat Hussain, who was one of the most prominent and controversial TV hosts in Pakistan, has died after he was found unconscious in Karachi. He was 50.
The anchor was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital. An autopsy is being carried out, BBC reports.
Aamir switched to politics and became a lawmaker for Ex-Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.
The televangelist was known for giving babies to childless couples, and at one point, he was banned for hate speech, according to BBC.
The outspoken anchor’s life, both public and private, had been engaging his audiences with the fame and critics often fuelled by his social media activities.
He publicly ended his third and final marriage with 18-year-old Dania Shah, who filed for divorce in May, accusing Aamir of domestic violence and narcotics addiction, BBC reported.
Aamir dismissed the allegations as a hoax and called the marriage a “fiasco” in a video released to the public.
He said that he was depressed by the things said about him on social media after all he had done for Pakistan and vowed to leave the country.
Aamir worked for many leading media houses in Pakistan and was popular with a section of the population, while many others had found him divisive.
The anchor was a ratings draw due to his charisma and showmanship. His broadcasts, often well scripted, included religious sermons as well as constant abuse.
He would accuse people of acts such as blasphemy, treachery or fornication, triggering regular complaints from the targeted individuals.
Aamir was also known for sexist remarks about Pakistan’s liberal women, who were often artists, authors or human rights activists, BBC reported.
In 2013, he began giving abandoned babies away in his shows, alongside product giveaways that included cars, motorbikes and household electronics.
He insisted that giving babies away for adoption was an attempt to give the infants the chance of a better life and was not a simple publicity stunt.
"We were already top of the ratings before we gave away a baby. We took these children from the garbage, from the trash, and delivered them to the needy people," Aamir said on his website, where he described himself as "truly a legend".