Salma Agha (Urdu: سلما آغا‎; born 29 October 1954) is a Pakistan-born British Pakistani singer and actress who sang as well as acted in Pakistani and Indian films 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 the romance Nikaah (1982), in which she starred as lead female and also sang several of the films 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.[1]

Salma Agha
Agha at an event in 2011
Born (1956-10-25) 25 October 1956 (age 65)
NationalityBritish Pakistani
OccupationSinger, actress, producer
(m. 1989; div. 2010)
ChildrenAli Agha Khan (son)
Zara Khan (daughter)
RelativesSee Agha–Khan family

Life and careerEdit

Salma Agha was born in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan, to Liaqat Gul Agha and his wife Nasreen Agha. Liaqat Gul Agha was a tradesman dealing in rugs and belonged to an Urdu speaking Muslim Pathan family based in Amritsar. She traces the origin of her surname ‘Aagha’, “My father (Liaqat Gul Aagha) 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.” Her mother Nasreen (born as Zarina Ghaznavi) was the daughter of Rafiq Ghaznavi, a Pashtun musician, and his wife Anwari Begam, 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 Jugal Kishore Mehra. In order to marry Anwari, Mehra abandoned not only his family but also his religion; he became a Muslim and took the name Ahmed Salman. Jugal (Ahmed Salman) thus became the step-father of the infant Zarina/Nasreen.[2][3]

Jugal was a first cousin of the Indian actors Raj Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor, as their mother, Ramsarni Kapoor (née Mehra), was the sister of Jugal's father.[4][5] Although Salma Agha is a distant relative of the Kapoors, the Kapoors do not acknowledge the relationship due to the fact that Jugal's family cut off all ties with him after hr abandoned them.

Agha at the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2010

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. Salma has been married three times. Her first husband was Javed Sheikh, with whom she had a brief and childless marriage in the 1980s. After divorce from Javed Sheikh, she married famous squash player Rahmat Khan in 1989. They have two children together – Zara "Sasha" Agha Khan and Ali Agha Khan (Liaqat Ali Khan). Salma and Rahmat Khan got divorced in 2010, and in 2011, Salma got married for a third time. Her current husband, Manzar Shah, is a Dubai-based businessman. Salma lives in Mumbai, where her daughter Sasha is trying to gain a foothold in Bollywood films. Meanwhile, Manzar lives in Dubai. According to Agha, her ancestors were 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 her mother's step-father was a Hindu by birth who had converted to Islam only to marry her grandmother.[6][7] She did not address the point that 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,[8] 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).[9]


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 Bela
1988 Paanch Fauladi Julie
1988 Mahaveera Don's dancer
1988 Kanwarlal Item girl
1990 Pati Patni Aur Tawaif Gauri
1991 Meet Mere Man Ke Jyoti
1991 Cobra Punjabi-language Pakistani film
1992 Jethaa
1996 Gehra Raaz Vasundhara
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
"Zara Zara Tu Pyaar kar" Maine Jeena Seekh Liya Salma Agha
"Maa hoon na Suhagan hoon" Kanoon Meri Mutthi Mein Salma Agha
"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
"Aaina Haseen Hua Hai" Dunno Y2... Life Is A Moment Solo
" Meet mere Man ke (Title Track)" Meet Mere Man ke 1991 Solo
"Chale Aao" Meet Mere Man ke 1991 Salma Agha & Manhar Udas
"Shama Hoon Main Jalna" Meet Mere Man ke 1991 Salma Agha (Solo)


  1. ^ "Salma Agha to get Overseas Citizen of India card".
  2. ^ (30 September 2016). "Salma Agha: Of better days and celluloid". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  3. ^ "Then and Now: 'Nikaah' actress Salma Agha - Bollywood celebs: Then and now". The Times of India. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  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. ^ (18 November 2017). "My ex-wife Salma Agha stopped me from working with Rekha: Jawed Sheikh". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  7. ^ Desk, Web (25 May 2016). "Ten Pakistani actors who worked in Bollywood". The News Tribe. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  8. ^ "Salma Agha to get Overseas Citizen of India card". The Times of India (newspaper). Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  9. ^ Pakistani singer Salma Agha to get lifelong Indian visa Dawn (newspaper), Published 31 May 2016, Retrieved 18 June 2018

External linksEdit