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9 Aug

3 female characters who are changing the landscape of Pakistani TV dramas

Pakistani dramas

From the sacrificing mother to a damsel in distress, an egoistic mother-in-law or a scheming sister-in-law to a woman in charge of her own destiny on rare occasions, Pakistan’s TV audience has seen female actors take on all kinds of characters ever since PTV came about. But nothing beats the rise of female characters who are role models, right?

With an ever-increasing demand for diversity in storytelling, it’s high time producers break the shackles of plots where men act and women are mere eye candy or when men dominate and women suffer, or more so when they make other women’s lives miserable.

Three TV dramas airing these days, namely Surkh Chandni, Inkaar and Ishq Zahe Naseeb, are such a breath of fresh air when it comes to portrayal of strong female characters. The female protagonist in all three are far from the stereotypical woman who used to act like an accessory. Here are the actresses who have made us fall in love with their will power and resilience on-screen:


Yumna Zaidi in Inkaar



Yumna Zaidi is playing the docile and soft-spoken Hajra in HUM TV’s Inkaar alongside Imran Ashraf and Sami Khan. There’s no denying the fact that Imran has cemented his character as an evil and spoilt brat, while Sami has also delivered a remarkable performance as a distraught lover. However, undoubtedly Yumna Zaidi stole our hearts as Hajra. There isn’t a hint of vanity in her character; with her no make-up looks and questioning eyes, it’s impossible to look elsewhere. Not only was Hajra shamed for loving the wrong guy, but she was stabbed multiple times for saying no. She was proven characterless in court and had to end her engagement as well.

Facing endless struggles and taunting eyes of her mother, Hajra remains resilient. She isn’t afraid of speaking her heart out and fighting the right battle. Yumna’s role in Inkaar is hard-hitting, but her portrayal of Shakira in Ishq Zahe Naseeb is enigmatic. With seven episodes so far, we are still not sure what her role is in developing Sameer’s other identity i.e Sameera. However, her glances, smiles and a mere snap of her fingers will capture your imagination instantly.


Sohai Ali Abro in Surkh Chandni



Sohai Ali Abro has come a long way from JPNA and Motorcycle Girl to playing an acid burn survivor in Surkh Chandni. The drama deals with the burning question of consent where a girl was burnt only because she said no to a proposal. The subject is quite heavy and the story in Surkh Chandni is painful, not only physically but emotionally. Sohai as Aida went through so much psychological trauma; her brother held her responsible, her father committed suicide and her mother stopped talking to her. She finally got married to the love of her life, Amaan (Osman Khalid Butt) who was later beaten black and blue.

Read: Aida suffers one blow after another in ‘Surkh Chandni’

Aida didn’t let scars and burns dampen her spirit, but anyone who had to suffer from so much emotional abuse will give up hope. In Aida’s case, she has decided to take control of her life and left home. Sohai has portrayed the plight of acid victims and how society bullies them with utmost honesty. This week’s episode had a bright note when we see real acid victims carrying on their lives with joy and hope in their hearts.


Sonya Hussyn in Ishq Zahe Naseeb



Sonya Hussyn as Gohar in Ishq Zahe Naseeb is one performance we look forward to every Friday. In the beginning, Sonya was playing the role of a carefree high-spirited girl who is always looking for adventures. She was in love and was hopeful that she will start a new life, away from her miserable home, with Kashif (Sami Khan). However, a twist in her story came when her parents betrothed her to a cousin, in order to clear their debt. With so much to bear, Gohar realized that the only way out of this misery is to earn enough money so that she can call off this engagement.

Also read: Zahid Ahmed nails the psychotic Sameer in Ishq Zahe Naseeb

Sonya Hussyn aced this transition from an irresponsible young girl to a level-headed person. We saw her challenging the orders of her boss, Sameer (Zahid Ahmed) and standing up for what’s right. Though many would argue that why she came back to work for him even after he slapped her, it’s obvious that she needs the job and is mature enough to realize that she won’t get another opportunity without qualification.

Let us know which one of these characters in Pakistani dramas do you like the most?


Syeda Zehra

The author is Assistant Editor at Something Haute. A journalist by profession, the writer has a penchant for films, fashion and music.