Yawar Hayat Khan

Yawar Hayat Khan
Born 18 October 1943[1]
Lahore, Pakistan
Died 3 November 2016(2016-11-03) (aged 73)
Lahore, Pakistan
Nationality Pakistani
Occupation Producer, Director of TV dramas
Pakistan Television Corporation
Years active 1965-2004 (retired in 2004)[1]

Yawar Hayat Khan (18 October 1943 – 3 November 2016), was a producer and director of the Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV) starting from 1965 to 2004. He is considered one of the chief architects of Pakistan Television drama serials in its early years after television was introduced in Pakistan in 1964.[1][2]

Early life

Yawar Hayat Khan was born in Lahore, on 18 October 1943,[3] the eldest son of Brigadier Azmat Hayat Khan[4] and grandson of Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan, the Punjabi Jatt Khattar aristocrat and statesman.[5] From his mother's side he was the nephew of Anwar Kamal Pasha, a famed early film director of Pakistan and a grandson of the famous Urdu poet and writer, Hakim Ahmad Shuja. He was initially educated at the Aitchison College, and then went on for his Bachelor of Arts degree to the Forman Christian College.[1]

Creative Work

As a young producer-director, he directed the immensely popular rural folk drama Jhok Siyaal (1973), based on a work written earlier by Syed Shabbir Hussain Shah, the Punjabi writer (husband of the classical singer Malika Pukhraj and father of Ghazal singer Tahira Syed). This was followed by serials such as Samandar, Nasheman, Dehleez, Sahil, Gumshuda and others, between the 1980s and 1990s. He retired in 2004.[1]

The influence of British film director Sir David Lean is often visible on Khan's work, especially his epic, panoramic shots of natural scenes.[1]

In an interview on TV, Yawar Hayat also compared some of his work to the writings of the American writer William Faulkner, stating that he also created 'highly cerebral' and 'complex' works, that often reflected the lives of decaying feudal aristocrats at odds with a changing society; as well as a diversity of rural and urban poor engaged in a 'harsh and sometimes grotesque struggle' for existence.[6] Veteran TV actor Behroze Sabzwari gives a lot of credit to producer/director Yawar Hayat Khan for high quality TV dramas produced on Pakistan Television Corporation.[7] Late Professor Jilani Kamran, a famous Pakistani critic and author, whilst praising Hayat Khan's work as 'enjoying a special status in PTV's seminal years' [8] also stated that his popularity and that of other directors/producers like him, was 'fast declining among the young digital generation'.[9] While Mustansar Hussain Tarar, another Pakistani writer, feels that 'With the departure of Yawar Hayat a creative era of production and direction has come to an end' [10]


Yawar Hayat Khan died after a short illness, in Lahore, Pakistan, on the evening of 3 November 2016 (2nd Safar 1438 AH).[11][12]

TV dramas


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9R6QmaL_3Q, Yawar Hayat Khan interview for Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV-Home) on YouTube (interview in Urdu language), Published 25 November 2015, Retrieved 25 October 2016
  2. http://nation.com.pk/politics/10-Jun-2011/Jameel-Fakhri-passes-away, TV actor Jameel Fakhri talks about Yawar Hayat Khan, a senior producer at Pakistan Television Corporation on The Nation (Pakistan) newspaper, Published 10 June 2011, Retrieved 24 October 2016
  3. Aitchison College Yearbook, 1959, pub. Lahore: Aitchison College Press, 1959, List 3, Senior School Students and Award Winners
  4. Brigadier (retd) Azmat Hayat Khan, 1921-1981, was commissioned in the 4/12th Frontier Force Regiment in the British Indian Army in January 1942, and served in the Burma campaign in World War 2 and later as a Captain at HQ Northern Command, Rawalpindi, circa 1944. He was promoted a Major and joined the new Pakistan Army in 1947, later promoted Colonel and then Brigadier, commanding Kohat, NWFP Brigade, in 1965. He retired in 1967. For further details please see the British Indian Army Officers of World War 2 site here , Retrieved 25 October 2016
  5. Yawar Hayat Interview, PTV 'Silver Jubilee' program, Lahore, Pakistan, 1985
  6. PTV Silver Jubilee interview 1985
  7. http://tribune.com.pk/story/965135/light-and-shade/, TV actor Behroze Sabzwari talks about Yawar Hayat Khan on The Express Tribune newspaper, Published 4 October 2015, Retrieved 24 October 2016
  8. In a critical essay on Urdu drama on television, in 'Observer' Pakistan, Sunday edition, 4th April 1999
  9. essay as above, 4th April 1999
  10. Dawn obituary 4th November 2016
  11. Pakistan Television News Report, 7 pm, 3 November 2016
  12. News Report Daily Pakistan, 3 November 2016
  13. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wj6G9hORroI, TV drama 'Dehleez', its cast and director Yawar Hayat Khan on YouTube, Retrieved 24 October 2016
  14. http://reviewit.pk/hidden-gems-of-ptv/, TV drama 'Saahil' directed by Yawar Hayat Khan listed on reviewit.pk website, Published 4 April 2015, Retrieved 25 October 2016

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