Navigating a web of lies

June 23, 2024

A police officer sets out to seek justice for her father

Navigating a web of lies


ritten and directed by Adnan Sarwar, Inspector Sabiha, a six-episode thriller can be considered a prequel to Gunah, another thriller that starred Sarmad Khoosat, Juggun Kazim and Saba Qamar, and aired on the same channel last year.

Rabia Butt plays Inspector Sabiha, the protagonist, who is seeking closure on a past incident that left her deeply scarred. The childhood incident still haunts her to the extent that she seeks a therapist’s help to unravel the knots in her mind.

Inspector Sabiha is another laudable attempt in the crime thriller genre. The series constantly shuttles between the past and the present in order to give the viewers an insight into the events that led to Sabiha’s present condition.

As a child, Sabiha used to idolise her father, an honest and upright police officer. One of her father’s friends Akbar, portrayed by Ehteshamuddin, is shown cautioning him against getting involved in risky operations. But ignoring all warnings, he takes on a clandestine operation. Determined to expose the truth, the police official goes undercover to chase a lead and loses his life. A departmental inquiry conducted after his death frames him as a criminal, ruining his reputation. All his years of faithful service come to naught. Although he is given a state funeral, the internal inquiry questions his integrity.

Many years later, his daughter Sabiha, determined to expose the truth, is training as a cadet at the police academy. A single mother who shares custody of her daughter with her ex-husband, she has a lot to deal with in her personal life as well. This is a story about how she conquers her fears, avenges her father, comes to terms with her divorce and discovers that the preconceived notions she had about her husband’s second wife stemmed from her deep-seated insecurities and self-doubt.

Adnan Sarwar has obviously done his homework on the crime thriller series. The concoction is a winner and hooks the viewer. The dialogues are crisp and sharp. All the actors, save for a few, do justice to their roles.

Samia Mumtaz plays her therapist who supports her during an extremely challenging phase of her life. Although heavily inspired by Hollywood, this is an admirable attempt. Rabia Butt, although a bit stiff, manages to make her role believable. The supporting cast, including her ex-husband and his second wife, her daughter and the trainees at the police academy, lend adequate support.

Yasir Hussain, a fellow cadet, also acts well and is impressives in a brief role. The acting is quite natural and, apart from Iffat Omer, playing Sabiha’s mother (who goes a little overboard on the histrionics), the series is low-key, restrained and understated. Yasir Nawaz, as gangster Rehmat Lala, also does justice to his role.

The background score, the mainstay of many a crime thriller, also lends an air of mystery and secrecy to the series. Adnan Sarwar has obviously done his homework on the crime thriller. The concoction is a winner and hooks the viewer. The dialogues are crisp and sharp. All the actors, save for a few, do full justice to their roles.

The surprise at the end is a twist many might have seen coming. It still has the desired impact. The show features a tightly knit script indicating that the director has a firm grip on the narrative.

The production, screenplay, script and the razor-sharp editing combine to produce a series that could give many Indian web series a run for their money. Productions like this one should be encouraged. It is becoming obvious that the genre has an audience and a fan base is slowly but surely building up.

The drama is also available on YouTube. Since there are only six episodes, it can be watched in one go. Sabiha manages eventually to sort out all the skeletons in her head and closet and lay all her personal and professional demons to rest.

The writer is an educationist. She can be reached at

Navigating a web of lies