The Problematic Narrative Of ‘Ishq Hai’

Danish Taimoor and Minal Khan starrer ‘Ishq Hai’ is currently airing on ARY digital. This play is written by Rehana Aftab, directed by Abis Raza and produced by Fahad Mustafa and Ali Kazmi.

Cast of this show includes Danish Taimoor, Minal Khan, Hammad Shoaib, Babar Ali, Saba Faisal, Farah Nadeem, Saifi Hasan, Mahi Baloch, Sajjad Paul, Azekah Daniel, Saima Qureshi, Faraz Farooqui, and Mahenur Haider.


Ishq Hai’ unfolds the obsessive love story of Isra and Shahzaib. Isra, played by Minal Khan, belongs from an upper-middle-class yet conservative family. She is immensely loved by her family. Shahzaib, played by Danish Taimoor, belongs to a very rich family. He is possessive, impulsive and madly in love with Isra.

His vicious mother Nafeesa, played by Saba Faisal, wants her sons, Raza and Shahzaib, to marry her nieces Sameera and Nimra, played by Mahi Baloch and Mahenur Haider respectively.

Like any typical love story, the parents of both the leads are absolutely against their marriage. Isra’s parents force her into marriage with Harris, played by Hammad Shoaib. Harris proves to be another obsessive lover of Isra.

Shahzaib kidnaps Isra on the wedding day. The obsessive lover forces Isra to marry him by placing a gun on his head. Meanwhile, Isra’s father dies. Isra blames Shahzaib for his demise. 

After some time, viewers are shown that Isra and Shahzaib are a happy couple and Isra’s brother forgives them too. 

The story takes another typical turn as the manipulative Nafeesa, eccentric Nimra, who desperately wants to marry Shahzaib, along with Sameera and Harris create such circumstances which make Shahzaib believe that Isra and Haris are having an affair. He throws Isra out of his home. When Nimra’s parents die in an accident, Shahzaib agrees to marry Nimra.

The toxic characters

‘Ishq hai’ script does not entail even a single sane character. Starting from Shahzaib, an obsessive and completely wackadoo guy. There is no character building of his role. He is either a filmic romantic person or a furious and rude husband. His character appears impulsive and nonsensical.

He forces Isra into marriage then he falls into the foolish trap of his mother and Nimra, which looked absolutely non-convincing. The whole trap scenario is poorly written and executed. 

Shahzaib receives videos and photos from Harris but he does not mention any of such video proof to Isra or Isra’s brother. Why is he keeping this a secret? The audience is unable to fathom.

Danish Taimoor did a similar role in ‘Deewangi’, he should have been more thoughtful in opting the role of Shahzaib, which is almost identical to his ‘Deewangi’ character.

Isra, on the other hand, is the most innocent female protagonist. She enters into a relationship with Shahzaib despite knowing that her family is completely against love marriages. In the recent episodes, she is easily falling into the witless trap of her mother-in-law. Why cannot Isra avoid Haris? She knows that this man has created countless problems in her marriage, how can she still meet him and be nice to him. Her character is just beyond the audience.

Nafeesa’s role is yet another problematic character of the story. She wants to ruin the life of her own son. In the initial episodes, Shahzaib even gets physically hurt in order to convince his mother for Isra but all this character wants is Nimra as her daughter-in-law. It appears that she is more loyal to her niece than her son.

Nimra is the most problematic character of this tale. This obsessive and eccentric girl’s only life goal is to be with Shahzaib, the man who rejects her and rebukes her many times. This character has no shades other than a hopeless desperate desire for a boy. Even after Shahzaib’s marriage, she is ready to marry him. This obsession looks completely irritating and uncalled for.

Harris is an exact male replica of Nimra’s character. He is obsessed with Isra. He saw Isra only twice in his life. But his obsession is stretched to a thousand years. This boy has no job, no life of his own, he wakes up daily and follows Isra and Shahzaib everywhere. He even makes an alliance with Nafeesa to marry Isra. We, as viewers, are unable to comprehend his obsession with a married woman, whom he only met twice.

Naina, Isra’s sister-in-law, played by Azekah Danial, is another problematic character. She is extremely negative. This character has no substantial role in the story other than adding negativity.

The problematic graph of the story

These eccentric and illogical characters render the drama a complete disaster. The writing is extremely poor. The trap set by Nafeesa is laughable. Shahzeb sees Harris and Isra standing in a closed room and viewers want to know how that was possible. He also receives videos, pictures from Harris’ number and he knows that Harris wants their marriage to end, but still chooses to believe in it.

He also witnesses that Sameera is always in a scenario where Isra and Harris are together, so why is he not evaluating the situation? Why is he not confronting Isra with videos and photos? He is just sure of Isra’s infidelity without actually witnessing the same.

Another issue worth mentioning is Shahzaib’s second marriage. He agrees to marry Nimra, only because she lost her parents and is sad. The writer may have forgotten that the same Nimra was suicidal when Shahzaib refused to marry her in their Nikkah ceremony in front of all the people. How has he developed a certain love for Nimra to an extent that he is marrying her? The writing appears inconsistent and without any strong underlying story.

Lastly, it must be questioned why the parameters of a good woman are so much higher than men? Nimra leaves her dupatta in Shahzaib’s room. Shahzaib explains it to Isra and she believes him. On the other hand, Shahzaib has not seen Harris and Isra in any inappropriate gesture, then why is he so rigid and convinced that she is characterless?


Ishq hai’ is a toxic love story backed by a disastrous obsession. Almost all the characters of the show possess certain redundant compulsion and infatuation. Undoubtedly, the acting of Danish Taimoor and Minal Khan is intense and poignant but it cannot help to shoulder a weak storyline.


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