Top 20 Pakistani drama serials


Mahira Khan and Fawad Khan in Humsafar
Mahira Khan and Fawad Khan in Humsafar

A COUNTDOWN OF ENTERTAINING SHOWS THAT WILL HELP GET YOU THROUGH THE CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN

by ASJAD NAZIR

PAKISTAN has produced some of the best drama serials in the world, and they have been so good that Indian viewers, including major celebrities there, have been hooked.

A combination of gripping storylines, powerful performances and talented lead stars has seen the serials jump on to the must-watch lists of audiences globally during the coronavirus pandemic. Unlike most Indian serials, which go on for hundreds of episodes, they are manageable and perfect for a binge watch while indoors, and most are available online for free.

Eastern Eye went on a mission, asking fans and celebrities, to find 20 great Pakistani drama serials to add during the Covid-19 self-isolation period and where to find them.

20. Suno Chanda: There are two series of the award-winning drama, which first aired in 2018, and revolves around a couple who have taken their marriage vows, but are not living together and don’t care much for one another. The romantic comedy starring Iqra Aziz and Farhan Saeed in the lead roles was a ratings winner when it first aired. Hum TV

19. Diyar-e-Dil: The multi-award winning 2015 series has a strong star cast that includes Maya Ali, Sanam Saeed, Abid Ali, Hareem Farooq and Ali Rehman Khan. The story revolves around a dysfunctional and fractured family being slowly reunited. Apart from the family drama element, there are plenty of sub-plots, involving individuals overcoming life’s challenges. Hum TV

18. Yakeen Ka Safar: The 2017 serial revolves around three households from culturally different backgrounds, who must face up to different challenges in life. The interestingly structured storylines won acclaim and awards when the series first aired. Hum TV

17. Ehd-e-Wafa: The coming of age drama, which commenced in 2019, has struck a chord with younger audiences. Ahad Raza Mir and Alizeh Shah head a strong cast in a story of close friends, who face challenges together and then go their separate ways and learn about the harsh realities of life. What follows are interesting parallel stories with relatable issues. Hum TV

16. Yeh Dil Mera: The 2019 romantic thriller starring Sajal Aly, Ahad Raza Mir and Adnan Siddiqui is loosely based on smash hit 2017 Turkish drama Cesur ve Güzel. The story revolves around a young man who wants to avenge the murder of his parents and hatches a plan, which involves seducing the daughter of his sworn enemy, but unexpectedly falls in love with her. Hum TV

15. Meray Paas Tum Ho: The popular 2019 romantic drama stars popular stars Humayun Saeed, Ayeza Khan and Adnan Siddiqui in the lead roles. The controversial serial revolves around a family being fractured when one does something inconceivable and the repercussions that follow. The series caused heated debate after it aired and continues to do so. ARY Digital

14. Zindagi Gulzar Hai: The drama based on a novel of the same name has been delighting audiences globally since it first aired in 2012. Massively popular stars Fawad Khan and Sanam Saeed play the lead roles in a serial that revolves around two individuals from contrasting family backgrounds and their rocky road to finally finding true love. Netflix

13. Alif Allah Aur Insaan: The Sufi spiritual drama, which first aired in 2017, stars Meekal Zulfiqar, Kubra Khan, Ushna Shah, Imran Ashraf and Shehzad Sheikh in the lead roles. The story of individuals from different backgrounds, including a spoilt rich woman, transgender, beggar and courtesan, looks at how good deeds are ultimately rewarded by a higher power. Hum TV

12. Ranjha Ranjha Kardi: The 2018 series stars Iqra Aziz, Imran Ashraf and Syed Jibran in the lead roles. The story revolves around a girl from an impoverished background, who has big dreams and encounters a wealthy family that has brothers with contrasting personalities. She looks for love in one place and then finds it in the most unexpected place. Hum TV

11. Baaghi: The 2017 drama serial is based on the life of controversial Pakistani social media star Qandeel Baloch, who was shockingly murdered by her brother in the name of honour in 2016. Saba Qamar takes on the challenging lead role in the story of a woman who tried to live life on her own terms, which was tragically cut short by a family member. YouTube

10. Besharam: The 2016 drama stars Saba Qamar, who brilliantly played the lead in smash hit 2017 Bollywood film Hindi Medium. The girl power led story shines a light on how society will admire women who work in a glamorous industry, but will also look down on them. ARY Digital

9. Udhaari: The powerful 2016 drama holding up a mirror to the harsh reality that exists in society boasts an ensemble cast that includes Bushra Ansari, Samiya Mumtaz, Urwa Hocane and Farhan Saeed. The story tackles sensitive issues, including past traumas in an intelligent way and shows how contrasting worlds exist between rural and urban society. Hum TV

8. Sadqay Tumhare: The 27 episode drama serial, which first aired in 2014, stars Mahira Khan and marked the debut of talented actor Adnan Malik, who starred in hit 2018 film Cake. The story revolves around cousins, who were betrothed to be married as youngsters, but are torn apart as adults, as they come from contrasting family backgrounds. Netflix

7. Cheekh: The massively successful 2019 crime drama stars Saba Qamar and Bilal Abbas in the lead roles. The gripping story revolves around a murder and the challenging journey to uncover the truth, which involves finding out some harsh realities about seemingly respectable members of society. Not surprisingly, there are plenty of twists and turns. ARY Digital

6. Shehr-e-Zaat: The Pakistani spiritual romance based on a novel of the same name first aired in 2012 and has been winning hearts ever since. Mahira Khan plays an attractive rich proud woman who gets whatever she wants, including the man of her dreams, and then learns some important life lessons, such as humility, the hard way. Hum TV

5. Alif: The critically acclaimed 2019 24-episode drama, described as a spiritual romance, stars Hamza Ali Abbasi, Sajal Aly and Kubra Khan in the lead roles. The story revolves around a rebellious filmmaker and a struggling actress, both of who have painful pasts. Based on a novel of the same name, the series explores human connections and a link to a higher power. Har Pal Geo

4. Khuda Mera Bhi Hai: Those who are fans of smash hit Indian serial Shakti – Astitva Ke Ehsaas Ki will appreciate this 2016 drama. Ayesha Khan plays the lead role in a story that revolves around a mother who fights for the right of her intersex child and takes on societal prejudices. The series sheds light on issues, including gender discrimination and marginalisation in society. ARY Digital

3. Dastaan: The powerful 2010 serial based on Razia Butt’s novel Bano is a love story set to the horrific backdrop of India-Pakistan partition, which stars Sanam Baloch and Fawad Khan. At times a hard watch, the period set story charts harrowing events and the innocent people who were caught in the middle. There is a strong ensemble cast in the well made serial. Hum TV

2. Khuda Aur Mohabbat: The drama serial of star-crossed lovers is based on an Urdu novel of the same name. Imran Abbas and Sadia Khan play the leads roles in a story of soul mates from opposite families who must overcome obstacles and prejudices on their path to true love. The story weighing up religion against love is also a strong social drama. Amazon Prime, Har Pal Geo

1. Humsafar: The iconic drama serial headlined by Pakistani superstars Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan has enjoyed global popularity since it first aired in 2011. The emotion-filled story revolves around the challenges faced by a married couple, which includes outside forces trying to tear them apart. The show set new benchmarks in Pakistani television and should be top of your watch list. Netflix