A refugee in Pakistan, Shah Rukh Khan seeks a twist in his career

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Farhad Khan escaped Kabul while shooting his next movie in the city. Now, life in Pakistan as an artist with refugee status means giving up on his dreams of being an actor.

Farhad Khan, 29, cannot stop thinking and talking about the good old days. Wearing a traditional Afghan dress paired with a black blazer, the Afghan film star is seated in the drawing-room of his neighbour’s house in Karachi’s Afghan Basti.

The walls of the room are coated with a faint purple – resembling the pale tone of Khan’s voice as he recalls his entry into the world of acting.

The Pakistan city has become his home since the man known as Afghanistan’s Shah Rukh Khan — after the Bollywood star he loves to mimic — was forced to flee Kabul soon after the Taliban takeover in August last year. The memories come to him like the flashbacks in his films which had put him on the road to stardom.

“I started acting as a hobby by mimicking Shah Rukh Khan and making random clips on social media with one of my friends,” he tells TRT World.

He was on a successful streak as an actor when his career hit a deadlock the day the Taliban took over Afghanistan. Busy filming his blockbuster the same day in Kabul, Farhad’s life changed in a matter of hours as he escaped towards Pakistan.

He was born in Pakistan, Karachi, in 1990 as an Afghan refugee. He grew fond of acting in his teen years after watching Shah Rukh Khan’s film Darr (Fear). He mimicked the King of Bollywood, dreaming of becoming as successful as him one day. Farhad Khan became famous as Afghanistan’s Shah Rukh Khan because of his perfect mimicry of the Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan.

In 2015, Khan moved to Istanbul for better economic opportunities. Though he worked as a tailor during the day, Khan was always keen on pursuing acting.

To fulfill his dream, he would perform in shows in hotels across the bustling district of Taksim square in the city. He entertained his audiences by impersonating Shah Rukh Khan and was soon to grab the attention of a Turkish producer.

“I worked on a few projects in the Turkish drama industry with Oktay, my friend. After I gained more professional experience by working in Türkiye, I later moved to Afghanistan in 2017 where I worked on two films,” he adds.

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