Profile: Shoaib Hashmi

Aamir Tariq 03:00 PM | 18 May, 2023
Profile: Shoaib Hashmi

Shoaib Hashmi was Pakistan’s leading actor, director, writer and educationist. He contributed significantly to the golden era of PTV by introducing new trends in humorous and satirical writings during 1970s. Undoubtedly, he had a diverse and multi-talented personality as an actor, host, writer, educationist and entertainer.

Shoaib Hashmi was born in 1938 and he proved his mettle as a savior of PTV in the '70s. He completed his masters in economics from the Government College Lahore. Later, he went to London and did another masters from the London School of Economics and a course from London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. This was the decisive moment in his professional life after returning from London. In the morning, he started teaching economics at the Government College and in the evening he was entertaining the masses on PTV. Notably, Akkar Bakkar was his first production on PTV. In fact, it was rated as a desi version of Sesame Street. Thus, his performance was seen as one of the memorable performances. 

Shoaib Hashmi’s Akkar Bakkar was followed by Taal Matol and Sach Gupp shows that were more political commentaries than entertainment in early 70s. Through Taal Matol and Sach Gupp, many notable and veteran actors, including Salman Shahid, Samina Ahmed, Naveed Shahzad, Irfan Khoosat and Arshad Mahmood were introduced to TV. Farooq Qaisar, renowned director and PTV artist, was a student at the National College of Arts where Shoaib’s wife Salima Hashmi ran the show.

Suno Such Gupp Karo Gup Shup was the famous song that brought actor/musician Arshad Mahmood to the fore after he proved his worth behind the screen. Shoaib Hashmi was the one who introduced the legendary Nayyara Noor through one of his programmes on TV.

Shoaib Hashmi enjoyed a progressive period during the Bhutto era. He had to face the tyrannical era of General Ziaul Haq. Shoaib Hasmi’s TV show Balila was aired in the late '70s and it hit the martial law regime hard. Consequently, it had to be off air. Through Balila, he hammered dictatorship and exposed its ruthless and inhumane implications. He tried his best to expose Pakistani dictators’ mindset.

Being a mentor and educationist, Shaoib Hashmi served the students even in the remotest areas of Punjab and Pakistan. He was sent to Pind Dadan Khan for a couple of years. Mostly, he taught economics for many years at the Government College Lahore. Later, he taught at the Lahore School of Economics. He also delivered lectures at the National Academy for Performing Arts (NAPA) on the art of expression and acting. 

Shaoib Hashmi wrote the following comedy TV serials for Pakistan Television that were originally aired in the 1970s:

  • Akkar Bakkar (1970s comedy show that was designed to educate children and illiterate audience of Pakistan)
  • Sach Gupp (a pure comedy show)
  • Taal Matol (comedy show)
  • Balila (banned soon after it was aired in General Zia-ul-Haq’s rule)

Shaoib Hashmi wrote articles for The News International and Gulf News. He wrote extensively for the theatre and translated a few books. One of his notable translations is the book titled, “A Song For This Day: 52 Poems By Faiz Ahmed Faiz”. Salima Hashmi has made illustrations for this book. He did quite a few translations of English dramas for the local theatres due to the shortage of playwrights in Urdu.

Shaoib Hashmi was awarded Tamgha-i-Imtiaz and the coveted President’s Award for Pride of Performance in 1995.

Shaoib Hashmi’s elder brother Sohail Hashmi served in the Pakistan Navy and younger brother Humair Hashmi is a psychiatrist.

Shaoib Hashmi met Salima, daughter of legendary Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz, during his theatre days and they married a few years later. The have two children together.

Salima, a painter and art teacher, served as principal of the National College of Arts and Dean of the School of Visual Arts at the Beaconhouse National University.

On May 15, 2023, Shoaib Hashmi passed away after a prolonged illness. He remained bedridden for over a decade as his health deteriorated after a brain stroke.

Aamir Tariq
Aamir Tariq

The writer is a staff member.


USD to PKR: Pakistani rupee remains stable against dollar as IMF talks underway

ISLAMABAD – Pakistani rupee remained stable against the US dollar as the market is looking for direction amid Pakistan’s ongoing negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Amid the economic uncertainty, the local currency remained unchanged against the greenback, moving up 0.01 percent during the opening hours of trading. Before noon, PKR was hovering at 285.40 in the interbank.

In contrast to the inter-bank, the dollar continued its upward trajectory in the open market and is reportedly available at Rs315, as the gap between the official rate and open market rate is Rs30 per dollar.

As the money market is waiting for a positive development from the economic front, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Mission Chief to Pakistan said they continued engagement with Islamabad focusing on the restoration of foreign exchange proper market functioning, with special on the upcoming budget.

Today's gold rates in Pakistan – May 30 2023

KARACHI - The price of a single tola of 24-karat gold in Pakistan is Rs 232,700 on Tuesday.The price of 10 grams of 24k gold was recorded at Rs199,510.   

Likewise, 10 grams of 22k gold were being traded for Rs163,624 while a single tola of 22-karat gold was being sold at Rs 190,880.

Note: The gold rate in Pakistan is fluctuating according to the international market so the price is never been fixed. The below rates are provided by local gold markets and Sarafa Markets of different cities.

City Gold Silver
Lahore PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500
Karachi PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500
Islamabad PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500
Peshawar PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500
Quetta PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500
Sialkot PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500
Attock PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500
Gujranwala PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500
Jehlum PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500
Multan PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500
Bahawalpur PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500
Gujrat PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500
Nawabshah PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500
Chakwal PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500
Hyderabad PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500
Nowshehra PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500
Sargodha PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500
Faisalabad PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500
Mirpur PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500


Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Sign up for Newsletter