The last 15 years of television have belonged to HUM TV : Farhat Ishtiaq
One of the largest TV networks in Pakistan HUM TV has completed 15 years, and during this journey, it has seen many ups and downs.
From battling for the audience’s attention in its early days to make the audience switch to local TV dramas, HUM TV’s contribution has been immense in every way.
In the last 15 years, the organization has raised the bar when it comes to TV dramas, cooking shows and even holding Award shows abroad while it is currently making inroads as a news channel.
We decided to talk to some of the people who have grown up with HUM TV during the last 15 years be it as writer, actor or director and find out how HUM TV benefitted them, and why working with the channel is different from other organizations.
AHSAN KHAN (ACTOR)
As an actor, Ahsan Khan has been associated with Hum TV for the longest duration.
Be it Saiqa, Dastaan, Udaari or Aangan, the actor has been performing on the channel and winning hearts with his excellent acting. When asked about his association with Hum TV, Ahsan had a lot to say:
‘Hum TV has a huge role in my career as a TV actor when I was working in Saiqa, I was a PTV trained actor but Hum TV didn’t look much different as they followed the same model and ethics. At that time drama directors were more influenced by Indian soaps and many dramas were being shot abroad to target local audience but Hum TV changed the game by staying close to our culture. They carved a separate style that became a trend and came out as a blessing for actors like me who wanted to experiment than work in TV dramas that were far from reality. They were trendsetters back then, they are trendsetters even today.’
‘Long before Udaari, they tested my villainous side with Paani Jaisa Pyaar but also gave me good roles in Daastaan that remains one of my favorite plays. I did Mere Qatil Mere Dildar with Mehwish Hayat, Na Kaho Tum Mere Nahi with Saba Qamar, Parsa and Mujhe Khuda Pe Yaqeen Hai with Ayesha Khan, Bilquis Kaur with Bushra Ansari, Zid with Maya Ali, Khoya Khoya Chand with Maya Ali and Sohai Ali Abro during the last 15 years, but nothing tops Udaari.’
He further added, ‘It not just helped my career in a huge way but also helped me realize my potential as an actor. All my TV projects have a special place in my heart but Hum TV projects remain close to me. From Sultana Apa to Momina Bhabi and Duraid, everyone treats actors the way they deserve to be treated and are like a family for all of us.’
Ehteshamuddin’s association with Hum TV predates the channel’s launch because he has been working with Sultana Siddiqui long before Hum TV was launched.
‘It was way back in 2004 when Moomal Productions were producing programs for PTV that I directed my first play that was later aired on Hum TV during its launch year. The series Chal Chala Chal had many directors including Saife Hasan, Shahid Shafaat and others but since I penned the script, I asked to direct one episode which became my debut as a director. My first drama serial was also for Hum TV as a director – Aseerzadi – which might not have become popular had I not been backed by the channel. In fact, my first film was also released last year under the banner of Hum Films – Superstar – and people loved it because of the way it portrayed romance onscreen.’
#BTS | Mawra Hocane & director Ehteshamuddin looking for the perfect shot! 🎥📺#Aangan coming soon on #HUMTV
‘The freedom a director needs on the set is what Hum TV provides; Sadqay Tumhare wouldn’t have become huge had I not been given a free hand to choose actors according to the character; I got to introduce Hira Mani as a leading actress in Preet Na Kariyo whereas, through Udaari, we managed to bring forward a social issue that wasn’t shown on TV before. Finally, with Aangan that came out last year, we managed to bring back the period dramas and love story on the sidelines of partition. For me, HUM TV is a place where I can do whatever I want because of the mutual trust that makes our relationship special’, says Ehteshamuddin.
HINA BAYAT (ACTOR)
Hina Bayat may not have started her career as an actress but she has become one of the finest character actresses in the last decade.
Be it playing a strong character of a lawyer or the mother of the leading man or woman, Hina Bayat has been there, done that. In fact she thanks HUM TV for believing in her acting capabilities at a time when even she had doubts.
‘Hum TV and I have had a long-standing relationship over the last 15 years; it was with HUM TV that I discovered the actor in myself. It has been a beautiful journey with some iconic projects, that have gone onto becoming benchmarks when it comes to Pakistani drama. It has also been a game-changer for many because with Hum TV, new avenues have opened up for people to come into this field professionally, a lot of new faces have been introduced and a lot of new people have been given opportunities to be creative and bring forth their creative work.’
‘In an international arena Hum TV has firmly planted Pakistani drama as a force to be reckoned with. My best wishes for their contribution to Pakistani drama and making it an exportable commodity in the global arena. Best of Luck Hum TV … You and I will continue this relationship for many many years to come, says Hina.
FARHAT ISHTIAQ (WRITER)
Talk about HUM TV and you automatically think of Humsafar and Udaari, two of the biggest plays of the last 10 years. Farhat Ishtiaq, the writer behind both these plays credits HUM TV for the success of her work and salutes the channel owners for believing in her script even after everyone else had rejected it.
‘The last 15 years have belonged to HUM TV because they have given a direction to our entertainment industry by promoting the soft image of Pakistan around the world. My association with Hum TV is a decade old as well and began with Humsafar a drama that every other channel and production house rejected because they thought that it was too simple, too single-tracked and too romantic for the audience.’
She further added ‘However, HUM TV came forward and decided to experiment with the play and we all know how it changed the ways dramas were being made at that time. There was Udaari as well which faced a lot of criticism and even got a warning from PEMRA yet HUM TV stood by me and the team and we managed to give a new dimension to all those makers out there who had ideas about social issues but didn’t have the courage to show them onscreen. For me, Hum TV has been one place where I feel at home because they trust me and love me for my work, which is not what I can say for other TV channels out there. They have given me the freedom to write and have never tried to influence me as a writer which is a bonus for all writers out there. They have always led the market by raising awareness and have not depended on slaps for ratings; it is one place where violence on women is condemned, where rapists are not fantasized and where whatever is wrong is shown to be wrong. I hope HUM TV and I continue the association for a long time as we have a lot of topics to cover and lead the way.’
MOHAMMAD AHMED (ACTOR/WRITER)
These days Mohammad Ahmed seems to be the most in-demand actor when it comes to Hum TV; he was in Deewar-e-Shab where he shared the screen with Bushra Ansari and Asma Abbas, he is currently playing the grandfather of Osman Khalid Butt in Ehd-e-Wafa while in Ye Dil Mera, he gets to play Sajal Aly’s psychiatrist who suspects that her father played by Adnan Siddiqui is lying. When asked about his association with Hum TV, the veteran writer tuned actor had a lot to add.
‘I haven’t done much work with Hum TV over the years but whatever amount of work I have done for them, it has been viewed globally and people have loved it. It goes without saying that HUM TV promotes quality content and their screen captivates the audience even if he or she is switching through the channels. They have been prominent when it comes to women’s issues and keep on experimenting in this regard, which is a courageous thing to do.’
He also mentioned, ‘They tackle subjects that others consider taboo for TV or other mediums and that’s why people’s expectations are raised when a new project is aired on Hum TV. Since I have written comedy plays in the past, I am very much impressed with the way HUM TV handles comedy; through Suno Chanda, they have infused life into a genre that was considered dead; working in the drama was a fantastic experience and I love the way the makers have revived clean comedy and kept the audience engaged for over two seasons.’