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Is Parwaaz Hai Junoon the first ever PAF based film?

‘Parwaaz Hai Junoon’ (PHJ) has been released on the Eid ul Azha 2018 (22nd August 2018). And has been advertised as a Pakistan Air force (PAF) based film as it revolves around the personal and professional life of the PAF cadets and fighter pilots.

There is a popular belief that it is perhaps the first PAF based film of our country. Since 2013 following Waar, there have been many films released based on the army. But surprisingly there was no film on either Air force or Navy.

But is it the first PAF based film really? The  answer to this question is NO. PHJ infact is the second PAF based film, where the first one was ‘Qasam Us Waqt Ki’ (QUWK) way back in 1969.

In our country any film on armed forces army, air force or navy requires approval and collaboration from the relevant force. Since 80’s the armed forces have collaborated with the PTV to produce many dramas on martyrs who are honored with Nishan-e-Haider.

But when it comes to films, apart from QUWK there has been no armed forces based film produced till 2013. Waar released in October 2013, became the first army based film produced with the collaboration of ISPR. Waar was followed by a series of army based films like Badal, Saya Khudae Zuljalal and Yalghaar. While there has been no navy based film to date.

Poster of Qasam Us Waqt Ki (Courtesy: http://pakmag.net/film)

It makes QUWK quite unique in the sense that the first PAF based film was produced when there was almost no concept of an armed forces based film. Even after QUWK no further armed forces based film was produced for decades. QUWK has many prominent big names attached to its credits.

It was directed by AJ Kardar, who previously directed Jaago Huwa Sawera in 1959. Jaago Huwa Sawera became Pakistan’s first nomination to the Oscar’s foreign language film category. The songs were penned by Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Josh Malihabadi, Khan Attaurehman and Fayyaz Hashmi. The film has a long cast where Tariq Aziz and Shabnam played the lead roles. The film also included Rozina, Rosy Samad, Saiqa, Sawran Lata, Hassan Imam, Meena Shori and Sultan Rahi in the cast. The music of the film was composed by Sohail Rana and Khan Attaurrehman. Bashir Ahmed, Runa Laila, Mehdi Hassan and Mujeeb Alam lent their voices to the film.

Tariq Aziz played the role of a PAF fighter pilot in the film, while it is said its story was based on the both East and West Pakistan of that time. Based on the story, the shooting of the film was done in East as well as West Pakistan with the help from the PAF. Based on the story, one song of the film was bilingual in Bengali and Urdu sung by Bashir Ahmed and Runa Laila.

QUWK was well advertised and promoted in the media at that time before its release. With a long cast and the first PAF based film, there was lots of expectations associated. The shooting of the film started somewhere in 1967 and by the time it completed in 1969, Pakistan was ruled by the Commander In Chief General Yahya Khan. It is said that the General Yahya Khan attended the premiere of the QUWK too.

Photo Courtesy: MPAOP

QUWK was released with great expectations on Eid ul Fitr 1969 on 12th December 1969. However despite all the publicity the film failed to perform at the box office. It was soon removed from the cinemas . QUWK can be termed as an experiment which failed to yield result. Its failure ended the prospects of any further armed forces based films for decades. It was also the last feature film of the director AJ Kardar.

Despite first film of its kind QUWK was also largely forgotten by our film history and is seldom mentioned in any relevant discussions. The most disappointing part however is that the print of the film is also not available anywhere as well its songs.

On the Youtube only two songs of the film are available. Its title song ‘Qasam Us Waqt Ki’ was composed by Sohail Rana and sung by Mujeeb Alam while notable poet Josh Malihabadi wrote this song.

Song: Ik Mein Hun Ik Tum Ho
Singer: Bashir Ahmed, Runa Laila
Lyrics: Khan Attaurrehman (Bengali), Fayyaz Hashmi (Urdu)
Composer: Khan Attaurrehman

Song: Qasam Us Waqt Ki
Singer: Mujeeb Alam
Lyrics: Josh Malihabadi
Composer: Sohail Rana

 

In this era when we have witnessed many successful armed forces based films, QUWK still has the distinction of the first film of this kind. Had it been successful it might have paved the way for further films of this kind. But its failure resulted in a gap of almost three decades to resume the armed forces based films.

 

Sources:

  1. www.pakmag.net/film/db/details.php?pid=891
  2. www.mpaop.org/mpaop/pak-film-database/chronological-of-films/1969-2/qasam-us-waqt-ki/
Rashid Nazir Ali

Written by Rashid Nazir Ali

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