Today is the 95th Birth Anniversary of Anwar Kamal Pasha. One of the pioneering directors of the Pakistani film industry, he began his work as an assistant director on “Shahida”, released in 1949. He quickly rose to prominence in the 1950s with films like “Gumnaam (1954)” and “Do Aansoo (1950)“, the latter of which was the first silver jubilee in Pakistan’s history and launched arguably the first successful pairing in the history of Pakistan, Sabiha Khanum and Santosh Kumar. A lot of these original projects were based on stories written by his father, Hakim Ahmed Shuja. Pasha Sahab also directed the Noor Jahan starrer “Anarkali (1958)”.
Besides his considerable talent as a director, he also became a teacher to future stalwarts of the Pakistani film industry. Khalil Qaiser and Hassan Tariq, both legends in their own right were trained under Anwar Kamal Pasha. Similarly a lot of character actors and leading stars that would go on to work in the film industry for decades were introduced by Pasha sahab including Musarrat Nazir, Aslam Pervaiz, Nayyar Sultana, and Rani.
Anwar Kamal Pasha was a pioneer in every sense of the word, yet he left too early in 1987. If others like him had kept the ball rolling, perhaps the film industry wouldn’t have fallen into disarray in the 80s as it did.