Pakistani liberals cheer as snooping TV host is sacked

Pakistan's liberals have won the day after a private TV station fired a popular morning show host who sparked outrage by running around a park, trying to identify young couples who were unmarried, a taboo in this conservative Muslim country.

Pakistani liberals derided host Maya Khan's behaviour on Twitter and Facebook, comparing it to the kind of moral policing practiced by the Taliban, and started an online petition asking Samaa TV to end this "irresponsible programming" and apologise.

The company responded this weekend in a letter to reporters saying it had decided to fire Khan and her team and cancel her show because she refused to issue an unconditional apology.

Samaa TV's decision marked an unusual victory for Pakistan's beleaguered liberal minority, which has become increasingly marginalised.