Zaheen Tahira: One of the Greatest Television Luminaries in Pakistan

Zaheen Tahira was one of the pioneers of PTV considering the fact that her acting career began when PTV Karachi Center was still in its initial stage. Born on 8th July 1946 in Lucknow British India into an educated family Zaheen was inclined to singing and dancing. Her father was an army doctor and her mother was a disciplinarian who never encouraged Zaheen to continue her love for singing and dancing. However, it was after the death of her mother that young Zaheen could pursue her dream of becoming an actress.She got married at the young age of 14 and was blessed with three children. Zaheen Tahira initially began her acting career as a film artist. However, she did not continue shooting for the film owing to her husband’s disapproval of Zaheen being a film artist. Her husband had left for Bahrain and before his departure Zaheen had sought her husband’s permission for acting in the film.  Nevertheless, despite her husband’s disapproval she had shot a few scenes for her film when one day she noticed her three children on the set with a letter. Her children had opened her husband’s letter which clearly stated that Zaheen would either have to choose her film career or her husband. Resultantly she managed to secretly escape the film set setting aside her dream of being a film star. Later she got enrolled at Karachi College and won many trophies and prizes in extracurricular activities. She was selected by one of her college teachers for a radio competition.  Zaheen was instantly selected as a radio artist and was later introduced to PTV Karachi Center. Initially she worked in a drama by legendary Meer Imam before acting in Khuda KI Basti which thrust her into limelight.  She despite being a married lady did M A previous from Karachi University. During her long acting career she worked in more than 700 TV serials.  Some of her most popular dramas include Shama, Adam Hawa aur Shaitan, Chandani Raatain and Umme Kulsoom. The government of Pakistan honored her with the highest civil honor Tamgha –e- Imtiaz for her outstanding contributions to the entertainment industry in 2012. She also became the recipient of the life time achievement award in 2013. Recently she was awarded the WIO Global Women’s Award which was unfortunately her last award. Zaheen Tahria was a diabetic and had been suffering from heart problem for quite some time. Earlier this month she had suffered a massive heart attack and was admitted to a private hospital in Karachi.   She passed away on 9th July 2019 after being on ventilator for a few days. Zaheen Tahira will always be remembered as a true gem of our society.



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