Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Monday “welcomed” televangelist, TV host and former Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) lawmaker Aamir Liaquat Hussain into his political party.
While addressing a press conference Khan said, “We welcome Amir into the party, these are the last six months before the elections and we want people to join our political campaign.”
“I believe that people change for the better. As long as people are trying to be better than before each day, they should not be questioned about the things they said in the past,” Khan said, in response to a question directed towards Hussain regarding remarks he had previously made about PTI.
“I had a completely different view of religion during my cricketing days, but things have changed since then, the point I am trying to make is that people change,” the PTI leader said.
Speaking on the occasion, Hussain thanked Khan for his support and said that PTI is the last party that he will ever join.
During the press conference, Hussain also said: “I had earlier left behind siyah-sat (a dark trade), and now I am starting siyasat (politics).”
“Amir may not remember the time as he may have been too young, but I remember the time when Karachi was actually the city of lights. We used to vacation here, in fact, Saudi Sheikhs used to vacation here.” Khan said during the press conference while promising that if the people of Karachi voted PTI into power, his party would “make Karachi the city of lights again.”
Earlier, on Saturday, PTI leader Imran Ismail had confirmed that Hussain will be joining the party. However, the leader had not specified what role the televangelist would be playing in PTI.
A previous attempt by the TV host to join the PTI in October last could not meet success amid reports of objections from within the party over his sometimes controversial and aggressive tone in TV shows and for representing MQM as its key leader.
Hussain, in August 2016, had parted ways with MQM, saying at the time that he would be leaving politics. Prior to his announcement, Hussain was taken into custody from his office on I.I. Chundrigar Road and later released by the Rangers after overnight detention.
He was also previously affiliated with the party and had been expelled from MQM in 2008 for violating party policy.
Hussain has been working in the media industry for several years now. In 2001, he joined Geo TV where he hosted Aalim Online, a religious program that gained Hussain a large following.
Over the past few years, Hussain has hosted Ramazan transmissions on both Geo TV and Bol News.
Hussain also runs a current affairs program on Bol News called Aisay Nahi Chalay Ga and has worked with ARY Digital Network, as well.