God-willing, our industry becomes truly independent: Fawad Khan | The Express Tribune

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The grand stage of Pakistan Television (PTV) was bedazzled as the National Icon Awards 2023 unfolded in a star-studded spectacle that brought together luminaries from the entertainment industry and esteemed political figures. The evening witnessed the convergence of notable figures, including Wahaj Ali, Humayun Saeed, Mawra Hocane, and Iffat Omar, among an array of other prominent personalities. Notably, the event was graced by the presence of former Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and the former Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Marriyum Aurangzeb.

The glittering affair celebrated and recognised outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment, with a lineup of celebrities receiving well-deserved accolades. The ceremony was marked by eloquent speeches and heartfelt exchanges, showcasing the camaraderie that binds the Pakistani entertainment industry.

In a poignant address, Fawad Khan expressed his hope for an independent and thriving entertainment industry, harmonising with governmental support. He hailed the unity among the artists and conveyed his appreciation for being part of an industry that has produced distinguished and senior figures.

“It’s an honour to be amongst very distinguished and senior artists who are with us today,” said the global superstar. “I am very honoured to receive this award and to be a part of this fraternity and, God-willing, the steps that are being taken…I hope it turns into a very cohesive movement and we take this ahead in a unified front and God-willing, our industry becomes a truly independent industry – not reliant, with the help of the government – but eventually becomes an industry of its own.”

Saeed later took to X (formerly Twitter) to share his sentiments regarding the ceremony. “A privilege and honour to be acknowledged by the state,” said the revered actor. “Thank you, Government of Pakistan for not just the Icon Award but also for finally implementing the long-awaited Film & Music Legislation facilitating the film industry in more ways than one.” 

Veteran actor Bushra Ansari, in a moving address at the National Icon Awards, commended the artistic inclinations of the government. Notably, she lauded Aurangzeb, noting her growing popularity and likening her to a box-office hit waiting to happen. Turning to the former Prime Minister, Ansari extended gratitude and suggested a hidden artistic affinity within his family, alluding to his fondness for music and his warmth towards the industry. “Respected PM, we thank you, and I have a hunch that your family, somewhere deep down, is artistic. You’re fond of music, and if these germs weren’t in you, you wouldn’t be so tender and warm-hearted towards our industry,” Ansari shared.

Amid the glitz and laughter, Omar engaged in a light-hearted exchange on stage while accepting her award. Playfully, as Sami Khan hesitated before announcing her name, Aurangzeb seized the microphone to jest, “He’s scared of taking Iffat’s name.” Juggun Kazim joined in the jest, proclaiming, “Everybody is scared to take Iffat’s name.”

In her acceptance speech, Omar playfully acknowledged her own bias as a PML-N supporter, quipping that her win might be attributed to her political inclinations. “It will seem biased because I am a PML-N supporter. Everyone must be saying, she’s also received an award at the end,” said Omar, jokingly. She took a moment to address the former Prime Minister, urging him to consider supporting the actors’ community by ensuring fair compensation through proper royalties. “You guys have done a lot of good things. Do one more good thing for us. Please do something about actors’ royalties,” said the star.

Babra Sharif, a distinguished figure in the entertainment industry was also awarded for her relentless efforts in advancing the entertainment sector. She expressed her happiness – not just for her personal recognition, but for the industry’s growing acceptance. “I’m quite happy,” the veteran star began. “Not about the award, but I am quite happy that our industry has been accepted and I’m glad I got to see this before dying. When people like Marriyum Aurangzeb and those like her exist, think – they also know how to invite someone, get them out of their homes…We’re not interested, since we’ve won awards in our time.”

Veteran actor Resham took the opportunity to commend the government for awarding the entertainment industry with the recognition and honour it deserves. She passionately acknowledged the efforts of the former Prime Minister, emphasising that the industry will forever remember his contributions.

“I always thought that my film industry is an unclaimed industry,” said Resham. “To make this industry an industry, to accept it, to give it status and stature, I heartily thank our respected PM. What you have done today for the industry, the film industry will, for eternity, remember you.”

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POST AUTHOR: Entertainment Desk

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