Aitebaar has been airing for some time, one of the shows that arrived without much buzz, despite having a talented star cast. It has been written by Maimona Aziz and directed by Nadeem Siddiqui. The show stars Zarnish Khan and Syed Jibran in lead roles, along with Ali Safina. The concept of the show follows Pari, a strong young woman, who is left convincing the world of her purity after an abduction (where nothing happens) while also attempting to get justice – all while being abandoned by those who claimed they’d always love her.
In episode 11, Parisa (Zarnish Khan) takes the severe step to visit Malik Jahangir to retract her statement on video, labeling herself a liar, in order to protect her own family. This is a big deal and tarnishes Pari’s reputation as a doctor as well, now finding it difficult to get rehired. Unfortunately, Pari has a long road ahead after Hamza (Syed Jibran) refused to take her back, leaving her alone to raise their child, a child he does not consider his. Meanwhile, Malik Jahangir’s son (Syed Arez Uddin Ahmed) has had a change of heart post his accident, realizing how fickle relationships and life is. Guilt has begun to eat him up inside, struggling with not only what he has done to Pari’s life, but also with how his own father is handling the situation and making things worse. And yet, his hands are tied due to his father’s status and threats to harm his mother.
Shiza’s story is one of the more interesting ones in this show. Shiza is trapped in a marriage where her mother-in-law (Huma Nawab) and husband, Bilal, are constantly playing mind games with her. This is a hostile environment, controlled by an obsessive, vindictive woman who wants nothing more or less than to have absolute control over her son. And yet, Shiza isn’t a doormat and does her best to make her voice heard, not only at her in-laws, but also within her own family. After Shiza’s miscarriage, Bilal has now begun to realize the severity of his actions, having a change of heart – but how long can he remain out of his mother’s controlling clutches? Just as he has started to change, his mother asks Bilal to get Shiza’s share of her family’s property in order to better their household…..not realizing how this will affect Shiza’s own family. Huma Nawab is a great actress and she’s great in this role as well, portraying a woman who is thoroughly unlikable and deserves a rotten end.
The performances are all good, particularly Zarnish Khan and Arez Ahmed’s. “Aitebaar” isn’t necessarily a show that’s recommend-worthy. It is moving slowly and Pari’s constant back-and-forth regarding her truth is very frustrating. She has labeled herself as a liar not only in front of her husband, but now also in front of the world. How will life play out for her? It’s interesting to see how fragile a woman’s dignity is in Pakistani society, but the reality of it is also what makes watching this show so frustrating. If it can happen to a beautiful, confident, educated working woman with a loving husband and a solid support system, it can happen to anyone. But how the story is carried forward will be the make or break point.