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Famous film star Shabnam with her husband - File Photo

LAHORE: “I love the Pakistanis from whom I have won so much admiration as an actor,” says famous film star Shabnam as the countdown to her much anticipated return to the city where she once lived and prospered begins.

Shabnam and her well-known husband, music composer Robin Ghosh, will arrive in Lahore on April 27 to take part in a show organised by the Pakistan Television.

“I am planning to meet people from the film industry,” Shabnam, once the undisputed queen of Pakistani films, told Dawn by telephone from Dhaka.

“It’s been 10 years since I last went to Lahore and Karachi on a personal visit.”

The PTV is planning the event to honour the huge contribution Shabnam and Robin Ghosh made to the Pakistani film industry over long decades beginning in the 1960s.

Shabnam’s was the longest reign for actor in Pakistan playing the traditional ‘heroine’ while Ghosh was famous for his melodious compositions drawing heavily, and for a soothing effect, on the rich Bengali music tradition. Hailing from the parts which later became Bangladesh, the couple settled down in Dhaka some years ago.

PTV producer Sajjad Ahmed tells Dawn that preparations are under way to make it a memorable event and a befitting curtain-raiser to a series of similar shows. “Programme director Shahid Iqbal Pasha and chief coordinator Khawaja Najam-ul-Hasan are putting in their best efforts to make this occasion an outstanding one.”

There is a catch, however. Sajjad Ahmed confirms the evening is scheduled to be held in Dewan-e-Khas at Lahore Fort, which is a World Heritage site governed by special protection laws.

A Punjab Archeology Department official Afzal Khan says the space would be provided to PTV for the programme to be recorded on April 28 after the ‘necessary’ documentation.

He justified the permission for recording of this show saying it would not be a commercial programme and no audience would be allowed during its shooting. — Shoaib Ahmed