A prime-time Pakistan TV show is giving away abandoned babies in a desperate fight to win the Ramadan ratings war.
Presenter Aamir Liaquat Hussain has given two babies to childless couples so far during Islam’s holy month.
In last week's episode Mr Hussain told the studio audience: 'This is the beautiful girl who was thrown on pile of garbage by somebody. See how beautiful and innocent she is.'
A head of a charity which rescues abandoned babies then handed the baby over to a childless couple, reported The Telegraph.
The baby was handed over to Riaz-ud-din and his wife. '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,' he said.
The new parents named the baby Fatima, according to The News.
The babies were presented by Muhammad Ramzan Chhipa, who runs the Chhipa Welfare Association. 'We have lots of babies that are just abandoned, left in the garbage or other dirty places,' he said. '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.'
He said the couples had previously approached his organisation to adopt children, although he did not discuss the vetting process.
The show is this year's offering from TV channel Geo News and boasts of 'soul-stirring experiences' to 'rub balm on the wounds' of the downtrodden.
Other giveaways include ten motorcycles, home-theatre systems, laptops and washing machines.
In the conservative Muslim nation, where the birth of children outside of marriage is condemned and adultery is a crime punishable by death under strict interpretations of Islamic law, hundreds of babies are abandoned every month.
Girl babies are more likely to be abandoned - they are seen by many Pakistanis as a greater economic burden as most women are not permitted to work and are considered to be the financial responsibility of their fathers, and later their husbands. A Pakistani family can be forced to raise more than one million rupees (N1,586,979) to marry their daughter off.
According to Pakistani law, anyone found to have abandoned an infant can be jailed for seven years.