6 onscreen Pakistani TV pairings that have withstood the test of time

Step into the world of television romance as we look back at some of Pakistan's favourite onscreen couples.
08 Jun, 2024

With romance keeping its tight grip on the steering wheel of most dramas in Pakistan as most else fails, particularly the lighting and editing and sometimes even the script, we must acknowledge one universal truth — the success of any Pakistani drama (romantic, or otherwise) lies heavily on the chemistry of its lead pair.

Be it the tension between Kashaf and Zaroon immaculately portrayed by Sanam Saeed and Fawad Khan in Zindagi Gulzar Hai or the fairytale romance played out by Hamza Ali Abbasi and Ayeza Khan in Pyare Afzal — the chemistry of some pairs has made it impossible for us to forget them and the dramas they were a part of.

But great chemistry is difficult to find and almost impossible to replicate. It is a skill of craftsmanship not everyone has mastered. And the few that have acquired this skill, or are somehow born with it, manage to create magical experiences for the rest of us.

So as we step into this world of television romance, I recount my top six beloved on-screen drama couples that continue to withstand the test of time.

Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan

Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan reign supreme in the kingdom of Pakistani on-screen romance. I’m as spellbound by their chemistry today as I was back when Humsafar came out in 2011. The iconic duo of Ashar and Khirad still lives rent-free in my mind. Their chemistry was so palpable, that it practically leapt out of the screen.

With Fawad’s charming smile and expressive eyes, and Mahira’s effortless grace and innocence, Ashar and Khirad set the blueprint for many television and film couples in the years to come. Their reunion in The Legend of Maula Jatt was also a sight to behold. We were left wanting more — like, seriously, can we petition for an extended director’s cut with just their scenes?

If you are a Fawad-Mahira fan and have been living under a rock, it’s time for some very exciting news — the duo is set to come together in the Netflix series Jo Bachay Hain Sang Samait Lo and the upcoming film Neelofar.

Hamza Ali Abbasi and Ayeza Khan

Can you ever go wrong when you’ve got the charismatic Hamza Ali Abbasi and the stunning Ayeza Khan sharing a frame? Time has shown us that the answer is a resounding no.

Their journey together began with Pyarey Afzal, where they won hearts for crafting a beautiful tale of romance and unrequited love. What truly stood out was the depth and nuance they brought to their characters, turning a tragic love story into something truly memorable. A testament to this is that even a decade later, the ending scene of Pyarey Afzal lives rent-free in our hearts. Farah’s confession of her love for Afzal and Afzal’s last breath after being shot was so well-directed and performed that it still makes us teary-eyed.

Now that they’ve reunited on-screen for their latest project, Jaan-e-Jahan, Ayeza and Hamza are receiving praise for reigniting that spark we became all too familiar with. The effect these two have on viewers should tell us that our obsession with seeing them together in a drama has more to do with their chemistry than the story itself.

Wahaj Ali and Yumna Zaidi

Flying shawls, an evil cousin obsessed with the hero, and a hot-and-cold heroine who refuses to back down: Tere Bin had it all and then some.

Following the drama, ‘Yumhaj’ has become a household name, winning over audiences worldwide.

Meerub (Zaidi) and Murtasim’s (Ali) on-screen chemistry was like a firework display — explosive, romantic, and filled with witty banter. After weeks of eagerly tuning in to watch them play out everyone’s romantic fantasies onscreen, their journey left us with countless memorable moments to cherish.

Meerub stubbornly rejects Murtasim’s love while Murtasim, a character straight out of fiction novels (at least for most of the drama), stops at nothing to win her heart.

Let’s not forget the iconic scenes that had us glued to our screens, from the exhilarating car races and caring for each other in sickness to the playful banter, with Meerub trying to pull off her mischievous antics, only to be met with Murtasim’s endearing exasperation, the drama was a rollercoaster of emotions.

Bilal Abbas and Sajal Aly

When you bring together two master craftsmen, you’re bound to get something out of the box, and Bilal Abbas and Sajal Aly are living proof of that. These two have a knack for stealing hearts and leaving audiences spellbound.

Think back to their electric chemistry in O Rangreza where Sajal essayed a fearless firecracker with Bilal complementing her as the shy, introverted guy, leading to a chemistry that set the screen on fire.

In Kuch Ankahi the duo traded glamour for gritty realism, exploring the struggles and challenges of adult life. Yet, at the centre of all the chaos, their chemistry shone bright like a guiding light, making us root for them with every beat of our hearts.

Farhan Saeed and Iqra Aziz

Suno Chanda ushered in a new era of Ramazan dramas. With Farhan Saeed and Iqra Aziz leading the pack, the show took us on a hilarious month-long journey filled with laughter and love, setting a new standard for romantic comedies.

The actors’ chemistry was epic — like Tom and Jerry, their scheming, conniving, and tit-for-tat dynamic kept the audience on its toes and rooting for them. Because of how Aziz and Saeed channelled the feelings and energy of their respective characters, Suno Chanda became an experience worth remembering.

Fawad Khan and Sanam Saeed

Zindagi Gulzar Hai marked the collaboration of two artists who excel at their craft and are known for bringing different shades of subtlety and grace to their characters. Yes, we are referring to Sanam Saeed and Fawad Khan, who portrayed the roles of Kashaf and Zaroon in the TV show.

Kashaf and Zaroon’s story has withstood the test of time because these actors portrayed two very complex characters with care — characters that fell in love but struggled to like each other, all while navigating the harsh realities of life, society and everything it has taught them.

Kashaf is a stubborn but resolute young woman from a humble background while Zaroon is a rich brat with a big heart. They are opposites and, therefore, are always bickering. This created a tension-cum-spark between them that was better than any romantic tension between couples onscreen.

The way these characters were portrayed and developed is a lesson in making great and timeless love stories.


NYS Jun 08, 2024 11:46am
Bilal Abbas made good pairing with Durfishaan Saleem and Wahaj Ali had compatible with Maya Ali Fawad Khan take a risk and get some new experience
Iqbal Jun 08, 2024 12:12pm
Bilal Abbas and Dure Fishan
Javed Shah Jun 08, 2024 01:25pm
Nice... When will Dawn open comments to news section.
Nauman Jun 08, 2024 01:56pm
And the other we like most, Are the Fairy Tale couple Farjaad and Umeed (Hamza Sohail and Sehar Khan).
M zafar Jun 08, 2024 02:43pm
Strange not to find Ahad and Ramsha not in this list.
Taj Ahmad Jun 08, 2024 04:15pm
Good old days and they are still active on TV’s drama series on ARY-Hum-PTV World.
Al Athar Jun 08, 2024 06:22pm
Nice write up.
Ehsan Jun 08, 2024 06:40pm
Excellent performers
Nadeem Shah USA Jun 08, 2024 09:16pm
Underwhelming pairing.
Ahmad Jun 09, 2024 12:19am
Test of time? Really? I was hoping to see couples who've been acting together for at least 2 decades. Disappointing
Kamran Rehmat Jun 09, 2024 01:43am
To exclude the magical duo of Bilal Abbas and Durrefishan in Ishq Murshid -- inarguably, one of the greatest pairings in the history of Pakistani drama -- from this list smacks of bias.
AmAh Jun 09, 2024 11:08am
Fawad and Sanam Saeed! Give us one more serial with these two! Mahira is way overrated and too much drama, no pun intended!
Mona Jun 10, 2024 02:13am
Yumhaj is the only pair whose chemistry was organic and achieved international popularity with zero hype unlike other pairs who were Nepos or cronies and shoved down the viewers throats through aggressive marketing of production house or channels.
Pakeezah Fatima Jun 12, 2024 06:59am
Love the couple of sajal aly and bilal Abbas ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️