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10 Non-Muslim Celebrities Who Made Pakistan Proud

The state of Pakistan may not have been kind to its non-Muslim children but some of these children have really made the mother nation proud. Here we celebrate some of Pakistan’s most successful non-Muslim celebrities.

Bohemia

Roger David, born October 15, 1979, better known as Bohemia, is a Pakistani-American rapper and record producer. He was born in Karachi, did his schooling in Peshawar and was the first Punjabi rapper to have popularised the genre.

Jia Ali

Jia Ali is a Pakistani model and actress. Born in Lahore in 1972, Jia Ali started her modeling career at the age of 19. She was debuted with Syed Noor film Deewane Tere Pyar Ke, in 1997. The film was a huge success and celebrated a Platinum Jubilee at Pakistani cinemas. Jia Ali has given super-hit movies and dramas to Pakistani industry. Her last movie was Saaya-e-Khuda-e-ZulJalaal (2017).

Shabnam

Shabnam ruled Pakistani cinema for nearly two decades. Her real name was Jharna Basak. Born in Dhaka, 1942, Shabnam gave Pakistani cinema some of its greatest movies, like Aina (1977), Bandish (1980), Qurbani (1981), Bandagi (1972), Doorian (1984), and several other unforgettable classics.

Appearing in over 180 films, and winning 13 Nigar Awards, Shabnam moved to Bangladesh in 1997 along with her husband Robin Ghosh. After Robin Ghosh’s demise in 2016, Shabnam returned to Pakistani cinema in 2017.

Robin Ghosh

Robin Ghosh was Pakistan’s star musician for nearly three decades. With wife Shabnam, actor Nadeem and director Nazarul Islam, Robin Ghosh formed a formidable team that gave Pakistan some of its finest hits. His music in the movies Talash (1963), Chakori (1967), Chahat (1974), Aaina (1977), Bandish (1980) and Dooriyan (1984) won him 6 Nigar Awards for best film composer. Robin Ghosh, along with wife Shabnam, moved to Bangladesh in 1997, where he died in 2016.

Ashir Azeem Gill

Born in Quetta, 1962, Ashir Azeem is a film and television director, actor, writer and former civil services officer who rose to fame through television series Dhuwan in 1994. He directed and produced 2016 Pakistani movie Maalik and also appeared in a cameo role in Yalghaar (2017).

Saleem Raza

Born as Noel Dias in 1932, Amritsar, Saleem Raza migrated to Lahore after independence. He gave Pakistan some classics that cannot be erased from the popular memory. Songs like ‘Ae Dil Kisi Ki Yaad Mein’, ‘Jaan-e-Baharan Rashk-e-Chaman’ and ‘Husn Ko Chaand, Jawani Ko Kanwal Kehte Hain’ are the kind of songs that became Pakistani music’s identity. Interestingly, Naat ‘Shah-e-Madina’ was also recited for the first time by Saleem Raza in 1957.

A Nayyar

Another master singer to make the list is Arthur Nayyar, commonly known as A Nayyar. Nayyar and Akhlaq Ahmed remained dominant playback singers of the Pakistani film industry in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s. Beena Tere Naam Sathi Mujhe Mil Gaya, and Ik Baat Kahun Dildara won him undying fame. A Nayyar died in 2016 of cardiac arrest after prolonged illness.

Sunita Marshall

Sunita Marshall is a Pakistani fashion model and television actress. As a model Marshall has extensive career. She has also been honoured with Lux Style Award for Best Model – Female and Hum Award for Best Model Female.

Deepak Parwani

Deepak Perwani is a Pakistani fashion designer and actor. Along with various local awards and honours, Deepak also holds the Guinness World Record for Largest Kurta, large enough to be worn by a 175-foot-tall (53 m) person. The Guinness World Records certified the entry based on a rigorous documentation process.

Bapsi Sidhwa

Born in Karachi, 1936, Bapsi Sidhwa is a Pakistani America writer, known for her 1991 novel, Ice Candy Man, which served as the basis for the movie Earth (1998) by Deepa Mehta and 2006 novel ‘Water’ based on Mehta’s 2005 movie by the same name.


Honorary mentions

  • SB John, the singer of Tu Jo Nahin Hai Tou Kuch Bhi Nahin Hai
  • Shallum Asher Xavier, guitarist and composer, won the award for Best Composer of South Asia for his song Khamaj
  • Benita David, actress
  • Zoe Vuccagi, singer, model, songwriter and music producer
  • Salman Albert, drummer, guitarist
  • Benjamin Sisters, a Pakistani signing band of three sisters, Nerissa, Beena and Shabana Benjamin
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Naya Daur