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    Sunday, 20 November 2011

    Sabiha Khanum: Pakistan’s first leading lady

    She was the quintessential first lady of Pakistani cinema and during the 1950s and 1960s,Actor Sabiha Khanum became one of Pakistan’s most sought after leading women.
    The Ali Auditorium in Lahore witnessed a remarkable tribute to the singer cum actor organised by the Shakir Ali Museum and Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA). Several leading personalities from the entertainment industry, who had worked and closely followed Khanum’s career, were also present on the occasion to shed light on her illustrious career.

    Khanum, dressed in a black sari, entered the auditorium to a swarm of photographers and fans. The frail 75-year-old lady, returning to Pakistan after a long time stay in the US, seemed in a cheerful mood.

    Former PNCA Director General Naeem Tahir recalled the vibrant impact of Khanum on contemporary actors due to her skills and technique. “Her contribution to film industry is very important because she did films at a time when the industry was struggling,” said Tahir. “She was always a fighter who could improvise when the times were rough, by moving abroad she had to give up a lot of the things she loved.”

    In response to Tahir’s speech, Khanum clarified the reason for why she left the country. “My husband Santosh Kumar had passed away, so I found it difficult to act as it would have put me in a difficult position,” said Khanum. She moved to the US after Kumar’s passing as her children were settled there. “It was a difficult phase but I will always remember the love Pakistan has give me,” she added.

    Published in The Express Tribune, November 20th, 2011.


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