Pakistan's television industry has offered an array of dramas from comedies, to love stories and even those addressing social issues. However, several dramas have been aired paying tribute to the national heroes of Pakistan, conveying a high essence of patriotism.
Here is a list of some of the most popular patriotic dramas to have been released in Pakistan:
Sipahi Maqbool Hussain
Sipahi Maqbool Hussain is a name in our history that caused a lot of fury and grief amongst the people after he was imprisoned for four decades in India. A collaboration of ISPR and Interflow Communication, the drama was based on the life of Sipahi Maqbool Hussain who disappeared from the Azad Kashmir regiment during the 1965 war between Pakistan and India.
Hasan Niazi played the role of young Maqbool Hussain in the drama, which was directed by Haider Imam Rizvi. The drama showed the harsh reality of Maqbool Hussain’s time spent in imprisonment where he refused to disclose his identity despite severe torture.
Scribbling the numbers 335139 in question of his identity and as a result getting his nails and tongue pulled off is a scene that stays with the people even today.
It was in 2005, after 40 years of imprisonment, that Maqbool Hussain was released across the Wagah Border. But upon his return, he found that he would never be able to reunite with his parents and siblings since they had all passed away.
The drama came to a close with the real-life Maqbool Hussain presented with an award by the army, recognising the struggles that he had made.
Alpha, Bravo, Charlie
Alpha Bravo Charlie has arguably been one of the best works by Shoaib Mansoor. Made in collaboration with the relation department of Pakistan Army, the story revolves around three friends and their individual experience of being in the army.
Every episode ended with a turning point that would leave the audience glued to the screen, the wait for the coming week would be too much to bear. The characters appealed to the masses because of their originality and the humour that was consistent in the first half of the drama.
The insistence of Kashif to quit the army and Faraz’s persisting, yet amiable way, to convince him mirrored a real-life conversation between two friends.
The gradual transition in Kashif’s personality after the Siachen experience changed the tone of the drama, and added depth to it by invoking a sense of patriotism amongst the audience.
The restaurant scene between Gulsher Khan and Shahnaz Sher remains afresh in the minds of many.
This drama reawakened the love and respect for the army and broke all records when it was aired, and even today it delights one in the same way as if it was watched for the very first time.
Wilco – Call of Duty
Aired on Pakistan Television (PTV), Wilco was made in collaboration between Seventh Sky Entertainment and ISPR, and was directed by Ahsan Danish. It was the cast that stood out in this drama, with popular actors like Humayun Saeed, Adnan Siddiqui, Ahsan Danish, Laila Zubairi, Amina Sheikh, Beenish Choohan and Imran Abbas.
The story focused on numerous services of the army which was not only to protect the land against enemies, but also showed their efforts to help the people affected by natural disasters.
Humayun Saeed’s untimely death at the end gave a tragic-hero closure to the drama, glorifying the sacrifice he had made for the country.
If there is a drama which can be called the first action drama of PTV, it has to be Dhuyaan.
Ashir Azeem penned the story and also played one of the leading characters, alongside Nabeel, Nazli Nasr and Naiyer Aijaz, who are still remembered today.
Directed by Sajjad Ahmed, this drama portrayed the criminal underworld and the shortcomings of the police department. It showed how very few policemen shoulder their responsibility and face challenges. The friendship between these brave policemen was the highlight of the drama.
“Kissey Da Yaar na Wichrey” by Ustaad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was taken up as the title song which complements the sorrowful ending of the serial.
Based on Razia Butt’s novel “Bano”, Dastaan, directed by Haisam Hussain, was unique because it took the audience on a journey down the events of the partition.
Leading drama celebrities of this generation Sanam Baloch, Fawad Khan, Saba Qamar, Ahsan Khan, Mehreen Raheel played alongside Samina Peerzada and Qavi Khan, and they all did justice to their roles in presenting the history of the country.
The story, which opens with the blossoming love between Fawad Khan and Sanam Baloch ends with the portrayal of true love for the homeland by Sanam Baloch (Bano).
Daastan was a serious play and its impact was great enough to make anyone restless in their sleep. The drama took the audience to the dark times surrounding the partition, and developed an appreciation for those who struggled for its being.
Khuda Zameen Se Gaya Nahi Hai
This project by ISPR was a joint production of PTV and Hum TV, and was written by Asghar Nadeem Syed and produced by Kashif Nisar.
With a total of sixteen episodes, the story is set in the tribal areas of Swat and revolves around the activities of an extremist leader. With the co-operation of ISPR, this mega serial included many Pakistani soldiers in its cast and also showed the Army’s helicopters.
The plot highlights the militant activities during the last few years and is based on true stories. A secret character is show in the drama, who supposedly has a hand behind all the bloodshed. That character, however, is never shown to the audience and can be referred to as the “secret hand” of our times.
The cast included, Syed Jibran, Sara Chaudry, Ayub Khoso, Nauman Aijaz, Aisha Khan and Erum Akhter.
Jaan Hatheli Par
This drama was aired on both PTV and Urdu1, and was written and directed jointly by Syed Hussain Abbas and Shamim Bazil.
It portrays the conflict in Balochistan, where soldiers are fighting the militants. Balochistan has been going through turbulent times for a long time now and the drama showed how the province is a part of the state and would not be isolated at any cost.
The cast included Asad Malik, Nadeem Baig, Nauman Aijaz, Shamoon Abbassi, Madiha Iftikhar among others.
Aired during the 1990s on PTV, Aahan was written by the famous contemporary poet, Wasi Shah, who also acted in the drama. Hassam Qazi, Iqbal Hussain and others were part of the serial which dealt with terrorist activities and the Army’s role in fighting it.
It is remembered as one of many PTV classics.
Sunherey Din was also aired on PTV and was based on the lives of young men receiving military training at Pakistan Military Academy in Kakul.
The story showed a strong-willed Saleem Sheikh who joined the Army against his mother’s wishes. He went through intense training by his seniors, which was an essential practice to toughen the young cadets.
Most of the scenes in this serial were light and humourous and showed how juniors tried to get even with their seniors when their roles were reversed for one night.
Faseel-e-Jaan Say Agay
A collaboration of ISPR and CRS Public Relations, this serial was also about the brave struggle of the valiant soldiers against the ever-growing extremist activities.
The drama paid homage to the soldiers who laid down their lives to protect the future generations. The serial also showed how it is to live in a terror-struck country from the citizens’ perspective and the lasting impact it has on them.