Ramadan game show in Pakistan gives away unwanted babies

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POSTED: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 - 2:17pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 - 2:18pm

A baby giveaway on a TV show in Pakistan causes outrage.

They say having a baby is the greatest gift of all. This is the moment an abandoned baby was handed over to an unsuspecting childless couple.. on Live TV.

Suriya Bilqees, new mother says, "I was really shocked at first, I couldn't believe we were being given this baby girl. I was extremely happy."

And new Father, Syed Zulfiqar Hussain, says, "We weren't complete. This baby has made our house a home."

Aamir Liaquat Husain, the TV Host says, "At Christmas there's Santa Claus to give everyone gifts, it's important for Christians. For us Ramadan is a really special time so it's really important to make people happy and reward them."

"So do you consider yourself Santa Claus of Islam then?" asks Saima.

"Oh I wouldn't say that myself, but I think it's a good concept to give gifts to people. It's not good to take but to give," says Aamir.

The show's host Aamir Liaquat has been described as a religious scholar, tv megastar and even a sex symbol. His heady mix of religion and entertainment is often followed by controversy.

In his new show he cooks while men sing islamic hyms, discusses religion with children in a garden full of rabbits, snakes and goats. And then he has a 'price is right' style bonanza giveaway & now he has pleased, shocked and surprised people across the country in what is a TV first for Pakistan, giving away a baby.

Saima asks, "Do you think by handing over a child on live television to a childless couple is trivialising the issue of abandoned children & adoption?"

Aamir responds, "Not at all, not at all, How? How can? We've created a symbol of peace and love, that's our show's theme, to spread love. I'm setting an example. Giving a childless couple an abandoned child."

The NGO, which finds and houses up to 15 abandoned babies a month, says it joined forces with the TV show to raise awareness of the issue

Chhipa Foundation says "Our team finds babies abandoned on the street, in garbage bins - some of them dead, others mawled by animals. So why not ensure the baby is kept alive & gets a good home? We didn't just give the baby away. We have our own vetting procedure. This couple was already registered with us and had 4 or 5 sessions with us."

But, the couple didn't know they'd be handed a 2 week old baby girl when they were invited to take part in the show. They are the second couple to be given a baby on the show.

Adoption is not officially recognised in Pakistan & there is no adoption law but the couple will have to apply for Guardianship at a family court. This wasn't processed before the live broacast.

Amir Liaquat says this isn't a gimmick to win the fierce ramadan ratings war in pakistan. He says another couple will soon be given an abandoned baby on the show in the coming days.

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