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Year in recap 2022

With New Year just around the corner, we cannot help but reminisce all the events that unfolded in 2022. It is hard to encapsulate all the events that took place in the last year, but we tried. From the ringing of wedding bells, controversies that broke the internet to two major sporting World Cups getting hosted, this year has seen it all.

Here are 45 things that Pakistanis talked about in 2022. Have a look!


1. Parey Hut Love bags an award at SAFACH

The year began on a high note when Asim Raza’s film Parey Hut Love won an award in the Wholesome Entertainment category at the South Asia Forum for Art and Creative Heritage’s (SAFACH) International Film Festival held in India.


2. Lata Mangeshkar passes away

Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar known to millions as the “nightingale of India” passed away on February 6 at the age of 92. She passed away in a Mumbai hospital after being admitted to its intensive care unit on January 11 with Covid-19 symptoms. She ruled playback singing in Bollywood for decades and  won international fame. The global dignitary’s demise was mourned by Indian and Pakistani celebrities as well as politicians.

3. Zahir Jaffer sentenced to death for murder of Noor Mukadam:

Noor Mukadam, 27-year old daughter of former ambassador Shaukat Mukadam was brutally murdered on July 20, 2021 in her residence in Islamabad. The accused, Zahir Jaffar, who confessed to the crime back in July 2021, was finally sentenced to death on February 24 2022.


4. The rising popularity of Mere Humsafar

Starring Hania Aamir and Farhan Saeed the drama aired on ARY Digital and received an overwhelming response from the audience with each episode trending on YouTube. The drama centered around a girl Halaa damsel in distress, who marries her cousin Hamza. Both of them fall in love with each other and the story unwinds as they both navigate through the obstacles they encounter.


5. Arooj Aftab wins her first Grammy 

Arooj Aftab

Brooklyn-based Pakistani singer Arooj Aftab achieved a historic feat that will be remembered for times to come. The artist won her first Grammy for her song Mohabbat in the Best Global Performance category, making her the first Pakistani ever to win the prestigious trophy. She is also nominated again this year.

6. Will Smith and Chris Rock Fiasco 

This year’s Oscar were a night to be remembered for many reasons. However, one thing that caught the attention of people around the globe was when Will Smith slapped Chris Rock live on stage.

Chris Rock, in characteristic humour, was making a joke on Javier Bardem and his wife Penelope Cruz’s nominations – saying that even if Javier wins, he’ll lose. Rock then said Will Smith should win, making a G.I Jane joke on Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett’s newly shaved head. While it was a G.I. Jane joke, it didn’t ring well with Will Smith, as his wife’s bald head resulted from alopecia and not a movie character. He got up, slapped Chirs Rock across the face, and then shouted back, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f*&#ing mouth.”


7. Indian singer KK passes away

Indian playback singer KK passed away back in May 2022. The singer was known for giving many popular hits in his three-decade-long musical career, including Dil Ibaadat, Khuda Jaane, Ankhon Mein Teri, and Zara Sa, among others.

8. Joyland bags two awards at the 75th Cannes Film Festival


A poster showing Bibi (Alina Khan) and Haider (Ali Junejo)

Saim Sadiq’s Joyland became the first Pakistani competitive entry in Festival de Cannes and brought two prizes home. It received the Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard category and the Prix Queer Palm award. One of the central characters in the film is a transwoman, played by real-life transwoman Alina Khan. Jury member Catherine Corsini stated, “Joyland will echo across the world … We were blown away by this film.”

9.Abrar Ul Haq claims Nach Punjaban was copied

Indian filmmaker Karan Johar unveiled the trailer for his upcoming film Jugg Jugg Jeeyo in which the audiences were greeted with a tune that is familiar, particularly to Pakistanis. A chorus of male voices sings the hook from Abrar Ul Haq’s 2002 hit song Nach Punjaban. This did not go unnoticed and the singer went to social media to state sold the song to “any Indian movie” and reserved the right to claim damages through legal channels.


10. Social media influencer Abdullah Khattaq passes away

The popular YouTuber Abdullah Khattak left us on 28th June in a road accident in Peshawar. He was a third-year medical student studying at Aga Khan University. He had an impressive following on his YouTube channel and his Instagram and used to make vlogs about food, travel, and academic content.

11. Ms. Marvel earns global recognition for Pakistan

ms. marvel
The six-episode miniseries Ms. Marvel broke the internet for several reasons. Based on Marvel Comics features the character Kamala Khan a.k.a Ms. Marvel, who is a Pakistani-American teen based in New Jersey.  Kamala is your average teenager who fangirls over Avengers until she finds superpowers of her own.

The show was popular in Pakistan for many reasons and was streamed in local cinemas. Firstly, the protagonist, Kamala, is the first onscreen Muslim hero of Marvel Studios. Furthermore, it stars the nation’s heartthrobs, Fawad Khan, Mehwish Hayat, and Samina Ahmad. The two-time Academy Award winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy also directed two episodes in the miniseries.

12. Aik Hai Nigar wins the award for Best Asian Award at Septimius Awards in Netherlands

Aik Hai Nigar

Starring Mahira Khan and Bilal Ashraf, Aik Hai Nigar bagged the Best Asian Film Award at Septimius Awards. It is a biopic of Lieutenant General Nigar Johar, who made history by becoming the first female in the Pakistan army to achieve the rank of Lieutenant General. The telefilm narrates how General Nigar navigated all the hurdles in her personal and professional life and takes us through her ups and downs.

13. Johnny Depp wins defamation suit against Amber Heard

Renowned Hollywood actor, Johnny Depp sued his ex-wife for defamation for $50 million in damages over an opinion-editorial article she wrote for the Washington Post, alleging she was a domestic abuse victim, though it did not mention him by name. Amber Heard counter-sued the actor. The case went on for six weeks after which the jury found Heard guilty and awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages in his defamation suit.

14. TV personality Aamir Liaquat’s demise in Karachi 
Television personality and former MNA Aamir Liaquat Hussain passed away in Karachi on 9th June. The 49-year-old was found in his home early in the morning and then shifted to Aga Khan University Hospital.
15. 4 Pakistanis make it to the Forbes list of 30 under 30
Forbes list of 30 under 30 honors artists, entrepreneurs, tech wizards, and social workers under 30 years of age doing impactful work in their respective fields. Four Pakistanis were featured in the list this year, including author Dur e Aziz Amna, designer Zain Ahmad, tech entrepreneur Muhammas Saad, and social entrepreneur Shawana Shah.


16. Ahad Raza Mir in Resident Evil


Ahad Raza Mir made his Netflix debut by starring in the Netflix original Resident Evil as Arjun Batra.


17. Pakistani short film Sandstorm qualifies for an Oscar 

Seemab Gul’s short film Sandstorm (Mulaqat) qualifies for an Oscar after it was listed among the top three award-winning films at the Oscar-qualifying film festival, HollyShorts. The twenty-minute short film was written, directed and co-produced by Seemab Gul and stars Parizae Fatima, Hamza Mushtaq, Ayesha Shoaib Ahmed, Nabila Khan, Aun Ali Saleem, Masuma Halai Khwaja, and Qasim Ali. Sandstorm revolves around a teenage girl named Zara whose life upends after she shares a sensual dance video with her virtual boyfriend. The latter begins to blackmail her into meeting him in person.

18. Maria B vs. Dr. Mehrub controversy:

Dr. Mehrub Moiz who is a trans activist, researcher, and policy specialist was removed from the panel of speakers at the TEDx conference that was scheduled to take place at the International School Lahore on August 20. Fashion designer, Maria B supported this decision in a tweet. This caused an uproar on social media, resulting in a debate between the designer and trans activist.

19. Bulbul-e-Pakistan Nayyara Noor passes away 

Nayyara Noor
Nayyara Noor who was known for performing in live ghazals in Pakistani TV shows and in concert halls around the country passed away at the age of 71. She was called Bulbul-e-Pakistan.
20. Pakistan unveils re-recorded national anthem on 75 years of Independence

The national anthem has been re-recorded after 68 years, with the participation of 155 singers, 48 musicians and 6 bandmasters, using modern technology. The newly recorded version doesn’t wander away from the original’s purity and softness, but it rather plays on its strengths. The original music score by Ahmad G. Chagla combined with beautiful poetry by Hafeez Jalandhari is only refined by using a new set of chorus and bandmasters, just to keep up with modern times.

21. A prologue of the webseries Fatima Jinnah was released on YouTube 

Fatima Jinnah
A prologue teaser for the web series based on the life of the mother of the nation, Fatima Jinnah was released, depicting her story as it it unfolds through three different eras, as a sister, a revolutionist, and later a stateswoman. Danial K Afzal’s web series Fatima Jinnah aims to tell a riveting visual and historical piece based on one of the first female politicians of Pakistan. The series is divided into three distinct eras of her life; Sundas Farhan, Sajal Aly, and Samiya Mumtaz will be seen playing one of history’s least credited revolutionists in each era, respectively.

22. Ali Sethi gets featured in Time100 Next list:

Pasoori singer Ali Sethi makes the whole nation proud by making it to Time100 Next list. The list recognizes 100 rising stars from across industries and around the world. Sethi made it to list with other renowned influencers including Queen Latifah. Sethi is known for his Coke Studio hit Pasoori which garnered a total of 473 million views on YouTube. His other songs include ‘Bekaraan’from Superstar and ‘Yunhi Rastay Mai’ from Saat Din Mohabbat In.

23. Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II of England passes away at the age of 96

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II, aged 96, the UK’s longest-serving monarch, has died at Balmoral, after reigning for 70 years. The Queen was born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor, in Mayfair, London, on 21 April 1926. She died peacefully on Thursday afternoon at her Scottish estate, where she had spent much of the summer.

24. A 37-year-old woman Sarah Inam gets murdered by her husband

Sarah Inam, a 37-year-old, was brutally murdered by her husband, who used a gym dumbbell to hit her on her head on September 23. The accused, Shahnawaz Amir, is Ayaz Amir’s son, a Pakistani politician, and columnist.

The couple had been married only for three months, and it has been reported that Sarah returned to Pakistan from Dubai a day before the incident. Sarah was a victim of her husband’s rage and was accused by him of having an extramarital affair, which her husband used as an ‘excuse’ to hit her. While Shahnawaz was arrested on Friday, it is alarming and saddening to see how such crimes are rampant.

25. Angelina Jolie visits Pakistan to help flood victims

Pakistan was hit with calamity after one-third of the country was affected by floods. It affected the lives of some 33 million people and caused at least 1,343 deaths. Hollywood actress, filmmaker, and humanitarian Angelina Jolie visited Pakistan on behalf of the International Rescue Committee (IRC). She visited the flood-affected areas in Sindh, traveling via boat, to analyze and assess the damage that had been done. She also met the affected families and tried to comfort them during this time of distress.

26. Jimmy Fallon makes an insensitive joke on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon

Comedian Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon made fun of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s little struggle with headphones while setting up for an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The incident amused comedian Jimmy Fallon so much that he included a video documenting the Pakistani premier’s fumbling on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

27. Sajal Aly attends the premiere of What’s Love Got To Do With It? at Toronto International Film Festival

Sajal Aly’s upcoming international film What’s Love Got to Do With It? had a premiere at the Toronto Film Festival (TIFF). Written and co-produced by Jemima Khan, ex-wife of former prime minister Imran Khan, What’s Love Got to Do With It? is a cross-cultural British rom-com. The film follows documentary-maker and dating app addict Zoe (Lily James), for whom swiping right has only delivered an endless stream of Mr. Wrongs. Her childhood friend and neighbour Kaz (Shazad Latif) plans to settle through an arranged marriage with Maymouna (Sajal Aly). The film is scheduled to release in the UK on 27th January, 2023.


Sajal Aly at the red carpet of TIFF


28. Feroze Khan and Aliza Sultan court case

Aliza, the former wife of the actor Feroze Khan, announced her divorce from the actor, Feroze Khan, on 22nd September via her Instagram. Further details about the case were disclosed after pictures of Aliza’s bruises were leaked on social media due to domestic abuse. Presently, Aliza Khan and Feroze Khan are fighting for the custody of their two children.

29. The Legend of Maula Jatt gets released after a long wait 

The most anticipated Pakistani film made in recent years; Bilal Lashari’s magnum opus The Legend of Maula Jatt released on October 13 2022. Directed by Bilal Lashari, known for his directorial debut and box office mega hit Waar, The Legend of Maula Jatt is touted to be the most expensive film to come out of Pakistan so far. This intense and epic hero origin story, with a screenplay by Bilal Lashari and dialogues by Nasir Adeeb, is a hard reboot of the 1979 cult classic Maula Jatt.

30. Coke Studio’s first live concert held in Dubai

The Coke Studio live was held for the first time in Dubai on the 14th of October. The complete line-up of artists that performed included  Peechay Hutt singer Hassan Raheem, the dynamic duo of Pasoori stars Ali Sethi and Shae Gill, the legendary singer of Strings, Faisal Kapadia, the rapper duo Young Stunners, and the sensational sisters Justin Bibis. The concert also featured many talented instrumentalists including Annan Noukhez, Zain Peerzada, Bilawal Lahooti, Omair Farooq, Veeru Shan, Saad ul Hasan, Haider Ali, Haider Ali Tafu, Yusuf Ramay, Melvin Arthur, Awais Kazmi, Action Zain and Aziz Kazi.

31. Senior journalist Arshad Shareef was shot dead in Kenya

arshad sharif

Senior journalist Arshad Sharif, a writer and television news anchor was shot dead in Kenya. His wife confirmed the unfortunate news on the morning of 24th October. The whole nation was heartbroken to hear about his death and the loss of his family.

32. Elon Musk buys Twitter

CEO of Tesla Elon Musk completed his $44bn (£38.1bn) takeover of Twitter. On buying Twitter he tweeted “the bird is freed” and later said “let the good times roll”. Presently, Musk is planning to step down as the CEO once he finds a suitable replacement.

33. Pakistan Minister of Foreign Affairs meets Taliban

Hina Rabbani Khar, Pakistan’s minister of state for foreign affairs, met Afghanistan’s acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi in the capital Kabul amid tension over cross-border violence. This visit followed when Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) armed group ended months long ceasefire with Islamabad raising security concerns about Afghanistan-Pakistan border areas.


34. Pakistan qualified into the finals of T20 Cricket World Cup

Pakistan unexpectedly qualified for the finals of the T20 Cricket World Cup after loosing matches repeatedly in the beginning. However, Pakistan unfortunately lost to England in the finals.

35. Humayun Saeed plays the role of Dr. Hasnat in The Crown 

Humayun Saeed

Celebrated Pakistani star, Humayun Saeed has spent over two decades in the entertainment industry. He has greatly contributed as an actor as well as a producer. The superstar hit another major milestone by being cast in the Netflix original series The Crown. He plays the role of Dr Hasnat in season 5 of the series.

36. FIFA World Cup is hosted in Qatar 

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 commenced in Qatar with an opening ceremony on November 20. With 65 matches lined up between a total of 32 teams at eight venues in Qatar, the World Cup was a great success with Argentina winning the trophy.

37. Quick Style visits Pakistan 

The Quick Style, a Norway-based dance group was founded by Pakistani-Norwegian twin brothers Suleman Malik and Bilal Malik, and their Thai-Norwegian childhood friend Nasir Sirikhan. The group is known for creating unique dances that are a fusion of urban style and modern hip-hop. They became popular after a video of them dancing at a friend’s wedding got viral. They visited Pakistan in November. 

38. Joyland gets banned ahead of its release

Saim Sadiq’s film Joyland which was scheduled to release on November 18 in Pakistan got banned prior to its release. After a full board review by a committee formed by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, it was unbanned, however the film has not screened in Punjab as of yet. Head of the Prime Minister’s Strategic Reforms Salman Sufi tweeted to make an announcement regarding the film’s release.

39. Kamli continues to achieve new heights

Sarmad Khoosat’s film, Kamli got released on June 3, 2022. The film garnered positive response from the public and the critics alike. In November, Saba Qamar won the Best Actress award for an Indian Film Festival and is scheduled have its European premiere at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) in 2023.

40. Ismail Tara passes away

Legendary Pakistani actor and comedian Ismail Tara passed away at the age of 73 due to kidney failure after a brief stay in the hospital. He started working in film and television in 1964 up until his death. The comedian rose to fame with his iconic role in comedy show Fifty Fifty.


41.  Mahira Khan and Sajal Aly make an appearance at the Red Sea Film Festival 

Mahira Khan made her appearance at the Red Sea Film Festival in Jeddah, Saudia Arabia. Sajal Aly also was present with the star cast of her film What’s Love Got to do with it. Some Bollywood actors were also in attendance, including Kajol Devgn, Ranbir Kapoor, Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, and Kareena Kapoor Khan, among others.

42. Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy marks 20 years of storytelling

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

The two time Academy Award winner completes 20 years of storytelling. To celebrate this milestone, Sharmeen, and her team present SOC20 a digital exhibit unpacking her creative and personal journey. The campaign unfolds the story of a young woman from Karachi, her explorations as a journalist, and her quest to tell stories about her city of birth, daily injustices, stories of women and heroes, eventually unpacking the impact her work has had on public policy and the global positioning of Pakistan.

43. Harry and Meghan’s documentary gets released on Netflix

In the Netflix documentary Harry & Meghan, Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle, who is based in the USA, talk about their relationship, marriage, and exit from the royal family.
44. Joyland shortlisted for Oscars 
Joyland is among 15 films that got shortlisted for Oscars and made it to the International Feature Film category. This is the first time that any film from Pakistan is shortlisted.

45.  Haris Rauf gets married to model Munza Masood

haris rauf, munza masood

Haris Rauf and Munza Masood

Haris Rauf ties the knot with model Munza Masood Malik. They got married in an intimate ceremony and were joined by their friends and family. Other crickets were also present on their big day.

This marks the end of the list. The year 2022 indeed bought with it many highs and lows and took us on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Well, its time to bid farewell to the year and welcome 2023 with open arms, hoping it is as fascinating and exciting as the last.

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