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July 10, 2019

Iconic Zaheen Tahira passes away

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July 10, 2019

KARACHI: Veteran and one of the most senior drama actresses, Zaheen Tahira, passed away on Tuesday, her family confirmed, two weeks after she was admitted to the intensive care unit following a major cardiac arrest on June 23.

Tahira Aapa, as she was fondly remembered, was put on a ventilator after suffering a heart attack last month. Her grandson, special effects artist Danial Shahzad Khan, told Geo News she passed away early Tuesday morning, around 5am. The family of Tahira, 70, was looking forward to her recovery after doctors at the hospital indicated that she may be taken off the ventilator.

Born in Lucknow, India, in 1949, Tahira, entered the entertainment industry in the mid-60s and was one of the most famous actresses of Pakistan. The veteran star had worked for decades in various lead roles in over 700 dramas and numerous radio shows.

Tahira became a household name for her lead role in the 1974 remake of PTV’s popular serial Khuda Ki Basti, an adaptation of famous novel of the same name written by Shaukat Siddiqui. Co-starred by Qazi Wajid and Behroz Sabzwari, she played a widow who had to work hard to make both ends meet for her family of three kids in this masterpiece serial by Pakistan Television in 1974. Made famous by powerful script and stellar cast, the blockbuster was also remade in the 1990s. The PTV had first produced the 26th episode play in 1969. She also performed iconic roles in Hajj-e-Akbar, Aroosa, Dastak, Babban Khala ki Betiyan, Bin Roye (2015), Khwahish (1993) and Noorpur Ki Rani (2009).

The actress was honoured with the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz in 2013 by then-president Asif Ali Zardari for her distinctive work in the Pakistani TV industry.

Talking to Geo News, noted TV actor Behroz Sabzwari said he met her a few days ago at her home and she was happy to see him. She was like mother to me, Sabzwari said. Sabzwari had co-starred with the legendary actress in Khuda Ki Basti. Another senior TV star, Qawi Khan paid glowing tributes to her. "Tahira was the senior-most actress in our industry and was a wonderful person and an equally amazing artist."

Her funeral will be held today (July 10) after Asr prayers after Masjid Ibrahimi, Block A, North Nazimabad, Karachi.

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