Top Pakistani breakout stars over the decade

It is no doubt that the 2010 decade has been a major game-changer for the Pakistani entertainment industry. Not only that, it has given us some major breakout stars who have proved their acting skills through their performances. Some of them even managed to make waves across the border, thus winning the hearts of international fans. We, at Libas Now, did narrow down a list based on the popular performances. In no particular order, here is our list of top breakout stars in Pakistan over the decade.

–      Mahira Khan

In 2011, she made her big-screen debut in Shoaib Mansoor’s BOL. In the same year, she got her breakthrough role in HUM TV’s Humsafar playing Fawad Khan’s leading lady. The show and her acting received positive feedback from critics and also earned her various awards. Following the success of Humsafar, there has been no looking back for the actress. In 2017, she co-starred in Raees, alongside Shah Rukh Khan. Her latest film Superstar has been the highest-grossing film nationally. She has also represented Pakistan at various international platform including Cannes Film Festival and as an ambassador for L’Oréal.

–      Sanam Saeed

The London-born star landed her major role as Kashaf in HUM TV’s Zindagi Gulzar Hai alongside Fawad Khan in 2013. The role earned her three awards for Best Actress. Not only that, her drama garnered audience across the border as well, thus becoming a household name not only in Pakistan but in India too. After making her mark on TV, Saeed made her debut on the big screen in 2016’s romantic-thriller Bachaana opposite Mohib Mirza. Her latest movie Cake, which received critical acclaim has been a success worldwide and was one of the first Pakistani films to be released on Netflix in 2019.

–      Ahad Raza Mir

The actor gained massive popularity after his role as Dr Asfandyar in Yaqeen ka Safar in 2017. He made his big-screen debut with Parwaaz Hai Junoon in 2018. Not only that, in the same year, he made his debut as a featured artist in Coke Studio 11. In 2019, Ahad became the first South Asian actor to play the role of Hamlet in Canada, which won him the Betty Mitchell Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Drama. He is currently in working on a movie revolving around the culture of Kalash people.

–      Aiman Khan

Aiman Khan received massive popularity following her performance in Ishq Tamasha alongside Junaid Khan in 2018. Since then, there has been no looking back for the actress. She starred with her husband, Muneeb Butt in Baandi which got a lot of positive response from the critics.

–      Minal Khan

Minal Khan also rose to popularity in this decade after making her TV debut in 2011. From supporting roles to leading roles, the actress has made a mark in the industry as well. Her drama Ki Jaana Main Kaun garnered a lot of positive response for the story and strong performance by the actors. She is currently playing the lead role in HUM TV’s Qismat alongside Faizan Khawaja.

–      Sajal Aly

The actor received praise for her breakout role in 2011’s drama Mehmoodabad ki Malkain, following this she rose to prominence with several leading roles on television. Her performance in Gul-e-Rana (2015) alongside Feroze Khan was applauded. She was also one of the few artists who landed a project across the border. The 2017 movie Mom starring Sridevi and Adnan Siddiqui earned positive reviews worldwide, including Pakistan. She is starring in HUM TV’s recent drama Yeh Dil Mera with Adnan Siddiqui and Ahad Raza Mir.

–      Bilal Abbas Khan

He is an actor who is a complete package in this industry; he has the looks and the acting capabilities to match it. He made his debut in 2016 with Saya-Dewar Bhi Nahi. His acting gig in O Rangreza and Balaa have been the breakthrough roles for the actor. According to the actor, “Balaa was the first step towards discovering my range as an actor.” With that being said, his role as Wajih, the antagonist in Cheekh along Saba Qamar topped it all and proved his worth in gold for the industry.

–      Saba Qamar

She got her breakthrough after appearing in 2010’s drama Dastaan, following which she did numerous acting gigs, some of them earned her various awards. With that being said, Saba proved that her talent is one that cannot be found easily in the industry. In 2017, Qamar played the leading role in Baaghi, portraying the character of Qandeel Baloch. The series was a critical and commercial success, whereas, Qamar’s performance was widely praised by the critics. Following this, she appeared in Indian movie Hindi Medium opposite Irrfan Khan. Following her performances in Baaghi and Hindi Medium, she was termed as one of the finest actresses in Pakistan. She was honoured the Tamgha-e-Imitiaz by the Pakistani government in 2012.

–      Mawra Hocane

This decade witnessed the rise of now social media stars and sisters Mawra and Urwa Hocane. Mawra’s notable work this decade include; Sammi, Aangan. Her debut in Indian cinema with Sanam Teri Kasam opposite Harshvardhan Rane and her Pakistani film debut with Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2. She is currently playing the leading role in HUM TV’s Daasi opposite Adeel Hussain.

–       Urwa Hocane

Urwa made her acting debut with a leading role in 2012 romantic drama Meri Ladli alongside Ahsan Khan and Sajal Aly. Her breakthrough role was in HUM TV’s Udaari. She made her film debut with Na Maloom Afraad in 2014 and since then she has appeared in various movies including Punjab Nahi Jaungi, Rangreza and is currently shooting for Tich Button alongside her husband, Farhan Saeed. The sisters in 2019 launched their clothing brand by the name UXM Clothing. 

–      Mehwish Hayat

In 2019, the actress has been repping the Pakistani industry on global platforms promoting talent worldwide. She was also awarded the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz for her contributions to the industry. With that being said, this decade saw the actress star in various hit movies including Load Wedding, Punjab Nahi Jaongi and Actor in Law. All of her movies have been a huge commercial success and have received positive feedback from the critics. Her television breakthrough role was in 2012’s Merey Qatil Meray Dildar.

–      Imran Ashraf

Imran Ashraf started his acting career in 2011 and has proven to be a gem for the industry. His acting has been on the top charts from the get-go, which include his performances in Alif Allah Aur Insaan, Dil Lagi, Tabeer, Jaal and the most applauded performance in Ranjha Ranjha Kardi opposite Iqra Aziz. He is also a writer who has written various scripts including that of Tabeer. His impeccable acting and sparkling versatility have proven that there is no doubt that Imran is one of the most important breakout stars of the decade.

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