Pashto films superstar

Pashto films superstar appeals for financial assistance

Sher Alam Shinwari

PESHAWAR:  Noted film star of yore days of Pashto film industry, Suriya Khan has appealed to her diehard fans, art lovers, philanthropists and KP government to extend financial help to overcome her hardships and set up a beauty parlour .  A post regarding her life in destitute and subsequent appeal for help went viral on social media as most of her fans began to know more about the life of the superstar of the Pashto films booming industry during early 70s, 80s and late 90s.

Suriya Khan had played heroine in around 140 Pashto movies and recipient of numerous awards including Nigar award for her marvelous performances in Pashto, Urdu and Punjabi movies.  Also she had produced three top Pashto films including Zartaja, Mujahid and Qaidee.

“Already a widow, I grew up my only son , got him married through thick and thin but two years ago he died of heart attack and then hepatitis attacked me , I applied for financial assistance to KP government which turned down my application on the ground that my national identity card carried address of Punjab . When I took up my application to the Punjab government, it was thrown into dustbin on the plea that my contributions were all to Pashto film industry. Where an artiste like me should go to,” Ms Khan complained with her eyes welled up.

Haji Mohammad Aslam Khan, senior writer came up with interviews he had done with the former film artist and revealed that Aasia Bibi aka Suriya Khan in fact had fallen prey to numerous difficulties including health complications and financial constraints adding that two years ago her lone son died of cardiac arrest and she suffered hepatitis, forced to live in a mortgaged house with her teenage grandson and granddaughter.

Sharing her career in Pashto film industry she narrated that during a school trip to Lahore film studio, she bumped onto one Mumtaz Ali Khan, a noted film director who had thrown a casual offer to be heroine in a Pashto movie.  The offer she said was instant however, she said she invited the director to meet his parents, following which she signed Dara-i- Khyber which proved a super hit. 

Aasia Bibi had started her acting career when she was student of 9th grade and her first Pashto film Dara-i- Khyber was released in 1971, followed by Orbal and many other super hits. She said she played lead roles with almost super star heroes including Asif Khan, Badar Munir, Tariq Shah, Bedar Bakht, Naimat Sarhadi and Jamil Babar.

Born in 1954 in Peshawar Jahangirpura, Suriya Khan Parents shifted to Lahore and still resides with her teenage grandson and widowed granddaughter in penury. She said she had contributed to the promotion of art whether film, and stage in a time when it was unimaginable for girl of her age to step in the film industry but she risked her entire.

“Why a just postal address should be a hindrance in recognition of my services. My father had served in armed forces and had embraced martyrdom.  I belong to Peshawar, my cousins still live there. I appeal to the PM, CMS of Punjab and KP and my fans to look into my miseries with deepest human sympathy,” Ms Khan reiterated.

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