From cricket to dramas to films, a lot happened in Pakistan that made 2017 special for Pakistanis around the world. Let’s analyse the actors and sportsmen who made our country proud and set the bar high with their extraordinary performances.

Ahad Raza Mir

It wouldn’t be incorrect to say that ‘he came, he acted and he conquered’ – that’s Ahad Raza Mir for you, who was, otherwise, a nobody until last year. After his first appearance in drama serial Sammi, people started noticing him and his career sky rocketed after he appeared as Dr. Asfi in Yaqeen Ka Safar.

Armeena Rana Khan

The hazel-eyed beauty began the year with drama serial Rasm-e-Duniya, where people sympathised with her character and disliked Sami Khan’s Harib for being a torturous husband. Then came Daldal, where she played a middle-class girl who gets married to Zahid Ahmed’s character who wants to go abroad by hook or by crook. The Canadian-British actress was also part of the movie Yalghaar, where she played Bilal Ashraf’s love interest, while she is also part of a couple of international projects that will grace the screens in the upcoming year.

Bilal Abbas Khan

He started the year with the biggest flop Thora Jee Le (his debut film) but bounced back with Rasm-e-Duniya and O Rangreza, two of the biggest TV hits of the year. From playing the wronged younger brother to the hero who took side of the wronged heroine, Bilal showed to the world that he is here to stay.

Fakhar Zaman

Fakhar Zaman was the answer to prayers of all those Pakistanis who wanted their team to win the Champions Trophy. Be it his quick fire innings in most of the matches or his steady century in the grand finale, Fakhar proved to be fakhar (pride) of the entire nation. Had he not been included in the final XI (he wasn’t part of the team in the only loss of the tournament), who knows, Pakistan might not have won the tournament and qualified for the upcoming World Cup.

Humayun Saeed

He has been around for more than two decades yet Humayun Saeed shows no signs of slowing down. His film career was hit with unreleased Project Ghazi and surprise flop of the year Yalghaar, but he didn’t let them affect his ascent. As the producer and lead of Punjab Nahi Jaungi (PNJ), Saeed succeeded to break records and gave the first Pakistani film ever to cross the 50 crore mark, worldwide. With more projects in the works, Humayun might be in for more success in 2018!

Kubra Khan

She proved her mettle as Shireen in Sang e Mar Mar and continued to rise high; Kubra may have been brought up in England but she is as Pakistani as any actor in the country. She played the protagonist in Muqabil, followed it with steller performances in Andaz-e-Sitam, Alif Allah Aur Insaan, Shadi Mubarak and Daldal, where she played characters that were least expected from a girl raised in the West.

Mehwish Hayat

She didn’t want to go to Punjab in PNJ but eventullay went worldwide with the hit flick; as Amal the strong-headed yet caring, she captured the hearts of many if not all. Add to it her countless brand endorsements and a surprise PSL appearance where spectators longed to see her on the large screen. She also went global as a singer and did concerts in United States, truly making Pakistan proud.

Saba Qamar

Not only did she match the performance of Irrfan Khan in Hindi Medium but also shocked her fans and detractors by portraying Qandeel Baloch in Baaghi, one of the biggest TV hits of the year. She may have slipped on the ramp at a fashion show recenlty, but her brilliant performances have only helped in elevating her acting stature.

Sajal Aly

Sajal’s reign started from July. She played Adnan Siddiqui and Sridevi’s daughter in Mom and impressed everyone with her brilliant portrayal of a rape victim. Then there was Yaqeen Ka Safar, where she played a girl who could do no wrong followed by O Rangreza, where she was at her best. Add to that her lending vocals to the latter’s OST with Sahir Ali Bagga, Sajal joined the league of extraordinary performers in 2017 from whom a lot more will be expected in the coming years.

Sami Khan

Sami Khan made 2017 his own with memorable performances on TV; be it the anti-hero in Rasm-e-Duniya, the tragic Sherry in Be Inteha, the scheming Faris in Tou Dil Ka Kia Hua, the confused Hamza in Aisi Hai Tanhai or the outright badass in Khudgharz besides Mushrik and Tere Bina, his magic worked every time.

Sarfraz Ahmed

Sarfraz Ahmed’s elevation to Captain of the ODI side changed the fortune of the national cricket team. They not only managed to win the Champions Trophy for the first time but also became the top T20 side in the world. Pakistan’s ascent in cricket must be credited to this wicketkeeper-batsman who helped shape up a side that played to the best of their abilities without the aid of Misbah ul Haq, Shahid Afridi, Wahab Riaz and the Akmals. By winning the most coveted trophy, they also managed to qualify for the World Cup 2019, which was definitely a milestone this year.

Urwa Hocane

While Mawra Hocane performed well in her examinations as well as in Sammi, it was elder sister Urwa who starred in the biggest and second biggest hit films of the year (PNJ & Na Maloom Afraad 2, respectively), and also featured in Rangreza, the musical flick released recently. The dialogue ‘Help me Durdana!’ featuring her and Humayun Saeed,

became an instant hit and has helped her film career big time.