Television channels in Pakistan are at war to win viewer ratings during the holy month of Ramadan and one particular channel may have crossed all boundaries of taste by giving away babies as prizes in one of its prime-time game shows.
So far, Aamir Liaquat Hussain, host of the television show Amaan Ramazan has given away two abandoned babies to couples, while the dramatic moment is captured and aired by the TV channel.
"This is the beautiful girl who was thrown on pile of garbage by somebody. See how beautiful and innocent she is," Hussain said in an episode last week according to a report in The Sun.
Muhammad Ramzan Chhipa, who runs the Chhipa Welfare Association in Pakistan, then handed over the baby to the childless couple who shed tears of joy and explained how desperate they were to have a baby.
"These 14 years were full of hardships, people asked to go for second marriage but I remained patient and also asked my wife to be patient," said the husband, Riaz-ud-din.
Chhipa explained how his organisation finds babies and also made a public appeal to not abandon infants in unsafe places.
"We have lots of babies that are just abandoned, left in the garbage or other dirty places. Often we just find the bodies so our message that we make is to tell people to bring their babies to us, don't just leave them," Chippa said.
Without giving out many details, he added that the couple had approached his organisation previously for adoption.
The show, dubbed the Islamic version of The Price is Right, is broadcast on Geo News channel and boasts "soul-stirring experiences".
Other prizes for the audience include plots of land, home-theatre systems, bikes, computers and washing machines.
A Gulf News report says that Amaan Ramazan is by far the most controversial Pakistani TV show and has been accused of publicising extremist causes.
In 2008, the show broadcast Muslim clerics who condemned members of the minority Ahmadi sect and said they deserved to die.
Although the show is extreme, this may not be the worst programme television audiences in Pakistan have witnessed.
Programmes last year featured a conversion of a Hindu to Islam, a live exorcism hosted by model Veena Malik, and a TV show host walking into suspected brothels.
Pakistan condemns children born out of wedlock and having an illegitmate baby is punishable by death in Islamic law.
Anyone found guilty of abandoning a baby can face up to seven years in jail.
Check out the video here:
[Video Courtesy: YouTube/TopTubeViralNews]