Mahira Khan: One of BBC's '100 most influential women'
Published on November 24, 2020 at 16.26
Sparkling debut: The BBC has released its list of ‘100 most influential women’ for this year and among these illustrious women is Pakistani actor Mahira Khan. Known as much for her dramas and films as her activism, Karachi-born Mahira began her career in showbiz as a VJ in 2006. She made her big screen debut opposite actor-singer Atif Aslam in Bol, which earned her a Lux Style Award nomination for Best Actress.
The Humsafar craze: Arguably one of the most popular television dramas of all time, Humsafar (2011-12) featured Mahira as Khirad Ehsan and earned her numerous fans and accolades including the Lux Style Award for Best Television Actress and the Hum Award for Best Onscreen Couple with co-actor Fawad Khan.
Activism: “Mahira Khan is no ordinary actress – she is outspoken against sexual violence, refuses to endorse skin-lightening creams and supports the fight against racism. She wants to tackle social issues in her native Pakistan by changing the narrative in films and on TV,” says the BBC. Mahira is a national goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, raising awareness of the plight of Afghan refugees in Pakistan.
Successful films: In 2015, she played the lead role opposite Humayun Saeed in Bin Roye. The film earned her several awards and was also adapted as as television series in 2016. In 2019, she played the leading role in Superstar, her highest-grossing film domestically at the time. She made waves when she starred opposite Shah Rukh Khan in Raees (her Bollywood debut) in 2017.
Mahira speaks to KT: When she was in Dubai in November 2017 to promote her film Verna, she reacted to the #MeToo storm overtaking the world. “The biggest and the best thing out of this might be that our children, and the generation after us, will probably not face such consequences because people will be scared. Everything is linked to not having any accountability.”