Salma Agha

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Salma Agha
Salma Agha at an event in 2011
Born (1956-10-25) 25 October 1956 (age 62)
OccupationSinger, actress, film producer
Spouse(s)Jawed Sheikh (briefly in 1980s)
Rahmat Khan (m. 1989; div. 2010)
Manzar Shah (m. 2011)
ChildrenLiaqat Ali Khan (son)
Sasha Agha (daughter)
RelativesSee Agha–Khan family

Salma Agha (born 25 October 1956) is a British-Pakistani singer and actress who sang as well as acted in Bollywood films of India in the 1980s and the early 1990s. She was born in Karachi and raised in London, where she received several film offers from Indian directors. Her first film was Nikaah, in which she starred as heroine and also sang her songs herself. She was nominated for the Filmfare awards that year in both the Best Actress category and the Best Female Playback Singer category. It was for her singing that she won the Filmfare Best Female Playback Award. She is also known for her role in Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki (1984) opposite Mithun Chakraborty, and for her song "Come Closer" from the same film.

Background and personal life[edit]

Salma Agha was born in Karachi, Pakistan, the daughter of Liaqat Gul Agha and his wife Nasreen Agha. Liaqat Gul Agha was a tradesman dealing in rugs and belonged to a Urdu speaking Muslim Pathan family based in Amritsar; in an interview to Filmfare at the onset she busts a myth, “I’m not from Pakistan. We’re Pathans from Amritsar settled in London where I grew up.” She traces the origin of her surname ‘Aagha’, “My father (Liaqat Gul Tajik) traded in precious stones and antiques in Iran. He was given the title Aagha there, a kind of knighthood bestowed on a businessman of repute.” [2] Her mother Nasreen (born as Zarina Ghaznavi) was the daughter of Rafiq Ghaznavi, a Pashtun musician, and his wife Anwari Bai Begum, who was one of the earliest actresses of Indian cinema, starring in Heer Ranjha (1932). Anwari and Rafiq Ghaznavi were divorced (or separated) after Zarina/Nasreen's birth, and Anwari then married a rich Hindu businessman named Jugul Kishore Mehra. In order to marry Anwari, Jugal Kishore Mehta abandoned not only his family but also his religion; he became a Muslim and took the name Ahmed Salman. Since Anwari came with the baggage of a child, Jugal Kishore Mehra effectively became the father of the infant Zarina/Nasreen.[2]

Jugal Kishore Mehra was a first cousin of the Indian actors Raj Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor, because their mother, Ramsarni Kapoor (nee Mehra), was the phuphi (paternal aunt) of Jugal Kishore Mehra.[3][4][5] It is often said that Salma Agha is a relative of the Kapoors, but this is not true; there is no blood relation between the Kapoors and Salma Agha, and in fact, after Jugal Kishore Mehra abandoned his family and religion to consort with Anwari Bai, his family cut off all ties with him.

Salma Agha had a long time relationship in the 1980s with London-based businessman Ayaz Sipra. This relationship lasted many years, during which time Salma made her film debut, but it did not develop into marriage. Apart from this relationship, Salma has been married three times. Her first husband was Javed Sheikh, with whom she had a rather brief and childless marriage in the 1980s. After divorce from Javed Sheikh, Salma Agha married famous squash player Rahmat Khan in 1989. They have two children together – Sasha Agha and Liaqat Ali Khan. Salma and Rahmat Khan got divorced in 2010, and in 2011, Salma Agha got married for a third time. Her present husband, Manzar Shah, is a Dubai-based businessman. Salma Agha lives in Mumbai, where her daughter Sasha is trying to gain a foothold in Bollywood films. Meanwhile Salma's latest husband, Manzar Shah, lives in Dubai.

Salma Agha looks directly to the camera
Agha at the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2010

In an interview given to Filmfare in 2013, at a time when her daughter Sasha was making all-out efforts to get a break as actress in Indian films, Salma Agha chose to identify her family as being more Indian than Pakistani, going to the extent of saying that she is not, after all, from Pakistan but rather from an Indian family based in London. She said that her father, a dealer in rugs, precious stones and antiques, hailed from Pathan family in India, and had settled in London; he was no doubt a Muslim, but not Pakistani.[3] Her mother also, she said, was the daughter of two Indian Muslims, both of them active in the film industry during pre-partition days. It is true, she said, that they settled in Pakistan after the partition of India, and that is reason why she, Salma, was born in Karachi, but once again, her mother's foster-father was a Hindu by birth who had converted to Islam only to marry her grandmother.[3] The sum and gist of her contention was that she (and thereby her daughter Sasha) had close links to India (rather than Pakistan). She did not address the point that Sasha's father, Rahmat Khan, was undoubtedly a Pakistani and had represented his country in innumerable international squash tournaments. Nevertheless, in January 2017, Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh announced that Salma Agha would be granted Overseas Citizenship of India,[6] given only to foreign citizens of Indian origin. This will facilitate her travel and residence in India without applying for a visa each time, and without periodically reporting to police during her stay (as required of Pakistanis and some other foreign nationals).[7]


Year Title Role Notes
1982 Nikaah Nilofar Won-Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer
Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Actress
1984 Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki Leena Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer
1985 Salma Salma Banarasi
1985 Oonche Log Poonam Singh
1986 Bhabi Dian Choorian Aamna
1988 Jungle Ki Beti Jungle Queen
1988 Paanch Fauladi Julie
1988 Mahaveera Don's dancer
1990 Pati Patni Aur Tawaif Gauri
1991 Meet Mere Man Ke Jyoti
1996 Gehra Raaz
2010 Bachao – Inside Bhoot Hai...
2016 Hijrat Feriha Pakistani film


Songs Film Co-singer
"Dil Ke Armaan" Nikaah Solo
"Dil Ki Yeh Arzoo Thi" Nikaah Mahendra Kapoor
"Chehra Chupa Liya Hai" Nikaah Asha Bhosle, Mahendra Kapoor
"Faza Bhi Hai Jawaan Jawaan" Nikaah Solo
"Tu Mera Kya Lage" Oonche Log Kishore Kumar
"Shah-E-Madina" Salma Solo
"Tarasti Hain Deedar Ko" Salma Anwar
"Zindagi Tere Dar Pe" Salma Solo
"Kehna Na Tum Yeh Kisise" Pati Patni Aur Tawaif Mohammed Aziz
"Mujhe Log Kehte Hain" Pati Patni Aur Tawaif Solo
"Teri Mohhabbat Meri Jawani" Pati Patni Aur Tawaif Mohammed Aziz
"Mera Naam Salma" Aap Ke Saath Solo
"Chumma Chumma" Pataal Bhairavi Solo
"Ae Mere Mehboob" Salma Shabbir Kumar
"Kaahe Baithe Ho" Salma Penaz Masani
"Come Closer" Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki Solo
"Dance Dance" Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki Bappi Lahiri
"Jeena Bhi Kya Hai Jeena" Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki Bappi Lahiri
"Pyar Ek Nasha Hai" Kanwarlal Solo
"Pehla Pehla Pyaar Na Bhoole" Mazdoor Solo

| "Chutika din hai" | Wel Come 1984 | Solo

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Seema Sinha, TNN 4 September 2012, 10.05 am IST (4 September 2012). "Salma Agha's daughter Sasha bags Yashraj's film". The Times of India (newspaper). Retrieved 18 June 2018.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ a b Farhana Farook. "Salma Agha: What's the Big Deal if I Married Twice?". IDIVA Entertainment website. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Farhana Farook (4 March 2013). "What's the big deal if I married twice?". website. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  4. ^ "Kareena Kapoor, Ranbir Kapoor to root for cousin Sasha Agha's Aurangzeb". Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  5. ^ "Star of The Week-Kareena Kapoor". 30 October 2002. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Salma Agha to get Overseas Citizen of India card". The Times of India (newspaper). Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  7. ^ Pakistani singer Salma Agha to get lifelong Indian visa Dawn (newspaper), Published 31 May 2016, Retrieved 18 June 2018

External links[edit]