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FraudUnlike serials that rely on controversial plot lines, or stories that are too fast paced right from the get-go, Fraud is a unique drama that is taking its time to unfurl. In the last two episodes, the truth about Ahsan Khan’s scheming Tabraiz has been revealed. Maya has been robbed, both literally and metaphorically, and is now mourning the illusion of her marriage. Mikaal Zulfiqar’s Shaan meanwhile, is still grieving the end of his marriage. While we’re not quite sure how his story relates to Maya’s, we find ourselves feeling his pain as well.

The board is set around this powerhouse trio and we’re waiting in anticipation for the story to unfold now that the main themes have been established. Fraud tells the story of a middle class family, headed by a father who is determined for his daughters to be married into rich homes. Enter Tabraiz, a fraudster who is all set to take advantage of the family’s naivety. He whisks away Maya who is perfect wife material, both demure and trusting. However, her trust becomes a weakness when Tabraiz and his so-called family do a disappearing act after taking all her money and jewels. In another city, Shaan is faced with the dissolution of his own marriage. His trust too is a weakness, as he blindly falls for his step-mother’s loving facade when it’s her conniving nature that’s driven his wife away.

Saba, Ahsan, and Mikaal are reuniting on screen after eleven years and all three are delivering strong performances that are drawing us into the serial. Ahsan Khan manages to make us uneasy even when we don’t know the whole truth about his character. He’s shifty and gets under our skin, making us feel like things aren’t as they appear with Tabraiz. Saba has lately been selecting roles that are very different from her own personality and allowing her to display her acting prowess. She’s managed to make us fall in love with Maya’s innocence and delivered a devastating performance in the last episode as all our heroine’s joy is taken from her. Mikaal is fittingly mopey and manages to both gain our sympathy and making us frustrated at Shaan’s naivety.

Speaking to Something Haute about sharing the screen with Saba again, Ahsan stated, “I have a friendship with Saba. She’s also very professional.” Saba and Ahsan have worked alongside each other since the beginning of her career and were last seen together on screen five years ago. “One thing I must say about her is that she hasn’t changed a bit,” said Ahsan, “Same level of professionalism, in fact her dedication, determination, and passion seem to have grown with time.” Ahsan was also very excited to be back on set with Mikaal after so long. “Mikaal is a wonderful guy, he’s a friend,” stated Ahsan, “It’s a lot of fun with him on set. I was quite excited that the three of us are getting together again. They’re both very positive, so I enjoy on the set as well and the scenes also come out nice when we’re acting together.”

For Ahsan, Tabraiz is the latest in a series of roles that have a dark and villainous side to them. “I feel like I’ve been doing romantic hero characters for over a decade now so to diversify a little, I take characters that are antiheroes,” explains Ahsan, “But I only pick pivotal characters. Even if I pick a villain, I make sure that it’s an important character that has depth, that there’s something to do with it as an actor.”

For Saba, it’s also been a pleasant experience returning to set with Ahsan and Mikaal. “The work drive I’ve seen in Ahsan is amazing, he brings a lot of positivity to the set,” says Saba, “He’s grown a lot as well.” Saba chose to pick the role of Maya because, “I felt this a very strong and empowering character for women.” She also felt that Maya, “is very relatable. It’s every girl’s story where people believe that if their daughter goes into a nice house, she will be happy forever, whereas it’s the relationship that really matters.”

For both Ahsan and Saba, the serial’s writer Zanjabeel Asim was one of the main reasons to take on Fraud. The writer is known for hits like Pyar Ke Sadqay and they trust her to take their characters on interesting journeys.

The actors were also strongly drawn to the theme of the script and the way it highlights the fallacy of how women are married off in our society. “I’ve heard stories where families work like gangs. They marry girls, then deceive and ditch them. So I think it was important to address this issue,” says Ahsan, “Parents worry about their daughters getting married and out of naivety wed them off to the wrong people.” Saba adds to this, “I want to change our society’s narrative towards women and their marriages. That’s my aim with this drama.” Fraud airs on ARY Digital every Saturday at 8:00 p.m.

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