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PESHAWAR: The 15th death anniversary of Shamshad alias Yasmeen Khan, the legendary heroine of Pashto films, is being commemorated today (Tuesday).

She was born and bred in Kakshal, Peshawar in 1950 to Moeen Khan and Syeda Bibi.

Her family shifted to Karachi in early 60s where she launched her film career by playing a lead role in the first-ever Pashto movie after partition ‘Yousaf Khan Sherbano’ that was released in December 1970.

“I don’t think Pashto film industry will ever produce a talent like late Yasmeen Khan,” Asif Khan, a superstar of Pashto movies of the yore days, told this scribe by telephone. She was a committed person and always believed in quality work, he added.

“I have really no words to praise her personality, sense of good work and attitude towards to her colleagues. She made history and will continue to live in our hearts. A down to earth respectable lady, Yasmeen Khan would always help the needy and poor and honour her co-workers,” Mr Khan said.

She worked in 200 Pashto and Urdu films and remained super heroine till her death. The duo of Yasmeen Khan and Badar Munir became icon of Pashto film industry, leaving an indelible mark on the minds and hearts of Pashto cine-goers.

The Culture Journalists Forum (CJF) held a commemorative reference here on Monday in Peshawar to pay tributes to Yasmeen Khan in recognition of her meritorious services during her 25 years long illustrious career.

Ihtisham Toru, the president of CJF, chaired the meeting. He said that Yasmeen Khan was a bold but modest heroine.

She distanced herself from film industry when vulgarity and obscenity crept into Pashto movies, tarnishing the image of Pakhtun culture and identity, he added.

Mr Toru said that she never approved of obscenity and always wanted to act in only those Pashto films, which could help promote true culture of her people.

When vulgarity blurred the silver screen of Pashto film industry, in 1987, Yasmeen Khan quietly began coiling herself from acting in those Pashto movies brining a bad to Pakhtun identity.

Only three of her films were released between 1988 and 1990.

In 1995, she launched her film direction and production but unfortunately she could not win against the vested interests that had monopolised the Pashto film industry, Rokhan Yousafzai, a participant of the meeting, said.

Some of the big shots of Yasmeen Khan were Dehqan, Adam Khan au Durkhanai (1971), Orbal (1973), Mah Jabeen (1972) and many more. She had only two Urdu movies — Jehan Barf Girti Hay (1972) and Dil walay (1974). She appeared as heroine in a single Punjabi film ‘Dosti te dushmanee’ (1977).

Yasmeen Khan's paired with legendary Pashto actor Badar Munir in more than 80 Pashto films movies and gained widespread popularity. She was a born actress, famous for her soft dialogue delivery and fluent Pashto accent.

She was a self-made choreographer and remained super hit heroine of Pashto movies from 1970 to 1999.

Her sudden death on April 15, 1999 in Peshawar sent a wave of shock among her fans. With her departure, the Pashto film industry was deprived of a talented performer.