From Adnan Sami to Fawad Khan—Pakistanis who made a mark in Bollywood
Bollywood has always embraced talent from across the border despite tensions between India and Pakistan
New Delhi: Last week, the Indian Motion Picture Producers’ Association (IMPAA) banned the recruitment of all Pakistani artistes in Indian film projects until normalcy was restored in light of the recent surgical strikes carried out by the Indian army. Bollywood, however, has always embraced talent from across the border. Here are 10 Pakistani film celebrities who made a mark on Indian soil.
1. Noor Jehan: India’s most famous actor and singer until the 1940s, Noor Jehan was a household name with movies like Khandan, Naukar, Dost, Zeenat, Gaon Ki Gori, Badi Maa, Anmol Ghadi and Jugnu. She moved to Lahore after Partition making India’s infamous loss Pakistan’s gain.
2. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: The legendary Pakistani Qawwali singer composed music for three Hindi films, Aishwarya Rai-starrer Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya, Sanjay Dutt’s Kartoos and action thriller Kachche Dhaage, besides singing for a couple of other projects. He also contributed a song called Gurus of Peace to A.R. Rahman’s Vande Mataram album to commemorate 50 years of India’s independence.
3. Salma Agha: The British-Pakistani actor and singer is best remembered for B.R. Chopra’s Muslim divorce drama Nikaah for which she received nominations in both singing and acting categories. Other Hindi film outings included Mithun Chakraborty-starrer Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki, romantic musical Salma and Pati Patni Aur Tawaif, a remake of Pakistani movie Bazar-e-Husn where Agha reprised her role from the original film.
4. Zeba Bakhtiar: The Pakistani film and television actor made her Hindi film debut with Randhir Kapoor directed cross-border romance Henna that made Rs 4 crore at the box- office. Other Bollywood outings included Jai Vikraanta, Stuntman and Deshwasi.
5. Alyy Khan: The British-Pakistani actor has appeared in films like Luck By Chance and Don 2 and several television series besides regularly hosting award shows. He may also be remembered for director Michael Winterbottom’s drama A Mighty Heart.
6. Adnan Sami: Born in London to a Pashtun father and Kashmiri mother, Sami has composed music for Hindi films like Lucky: No Time for Love and Chance Pe Dance, besides singing for hordes of others but is best remembered for studio albums like Kabhi Toh Nazar Milao and Tera Chehra. In late December 2015, the Union home ministry approved Sami’s request for legal status as a citizen of India.
7. Atif Aslam: The Pakistani singer and actor has delivered numerous chartbusters over the years beginning with Onir’s acclaimed drama Bas Ek Pal in 2006 and is known for featuring in music videos shot for related promotional purposes. He also judged singing reality show Sur Kshetra which was shot and broadcast from Dubai, where Indian and Pakistani contestants competed against each other.
8. Ali Zafar: The Pakistani singer, actor and musician made his Hindi film debut in the satirical comedy Tere Bin Laden which netted about Rs 7 crore at the box office. He followed it up with light-hearted outings like Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, Chashme Baddoor and Kill Dil. He will next be seen in director Gauri Shinde’s Shah Rukh Khan and Alia Bhatt-starrer Dear Zindagi due for release this November.
9. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan: The Pakistani singer, nephew of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, debuted in Bollywood with Pooja Bhatt’s John Abraham-starrer Paap and has consistently delivered hits in films like Dabangg, Ishqiya and Bajrangi Bhaijaan. Jag Ghoomeya from Salman Khan’s Sultan is his most recent chartbuster.
10. Fawad Khan: The latest import from Pakistan was first seen in romantic comedy Khoobsurat alongside Sonam Kapoor. He simultaneously garnered attention among Indian audiences for television shows like Humsafar and Zindagi Gulzar Hai. This year, he was seen in director Shakun Batra’s critically and commercially acclaimed family drama Kapoor&Sons and is awaiting the release of Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil this month.