Reham Khan wants to promote positive image of Pashtun culture & Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: It seems time doesn’t hang heavy for Reham Khan as she juggles between the multiple roles she has taken up, most recently, of a filmmaker. Setting foot in an industry where people have long tread carefully, she comes with the will to promote a positive image of Pashtun culture and Pakistan. With spirits high and wearing a 100-watt smile, she talks to newsmen about her upcoming film Jaanan and aspirations.

Reham has teamed up with Imran Raza Kazmi to produce Jaanan, a romantic-comedy about a Pashtun family, slated to release on Eidul Fitr next year. Lack of funds and infrastructure didn’t stop a novice Kazmi from venturing into filmmaking, with his 2013 feature film Siyaah. Reham says she’s open to working with new talent, bringing out the best her country has to offer. On working with Kazmi, she states, “It gives me even more courage to stand tall and not allow any negativity to be a hindrance in way of what I want to achieve.”

Aiming at promoting an image of Pathans far from their myopic depiction in international media, Reham will take the audiences on a trip to the panoramic Chitral, Parachinar, Swat and Peshawar through her film. “The most important reason for me [to take up filmmaking] is to promote the peaceful image of the Pashtuns,” says Reham. “And being a Pathan myself, who can better share their hospitality, kind-heartedness, especially towards women, and courage, than me?” she adds.

Reham hopes to pay homage to Pakistani legends, such as Allama Iqbal, Abdul Khaliq and Khushal Khan Khattak, through biopics, so that people on a global level become acquainted with the trials and tribulations they went through to achieve their goals. “We’ve seen India’s tribute to Milkha Singh in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, but not many people know that he was beaten more than once in international races by Pakistani sprinter Abdul Khaliq, who has won 100 gold medals,” she states.

Married to politician Imran Khan, Reham clarifies her upcoming project has no political undertone. Reham says, “My intentions and conscience are clear. My aim is to contribute towards the improvement of our society.” She adds, “Filmmaking has two major advantages that contribute to my aim: it will help change the foreign media’s perception of Pakistan and be a source of relief and joy for locals.”