Salma Agha is a Pakistani singer and actor who mainly worked in the Indian and Pakistani cinema in the 1980’s and 1990’s. She came into the limelight after playing the role of ‘Nilofar’ in the Indian Hindi-language film “Nikaah” (1982). Salma also gave her voice to the songs of the film and won a Filmfare for Best Female Playback Singer.
Salma Agha was born on Thursday, 25 October 1956 (age 64 years; as of 2020) in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. Her zodiac sign is Scorpio. At the age of 9, she moved to London with her family. In London, Salma, along with her sister Sabina, used to produce and sing songs for a record called AGHA- Salma and Sabina sing the hits of ABBA in Hindi. The record received good response from the audience and the critics alike. However, it didn’t create much wave in the Hindi film industry. Once, Raj Kapoor (Film Director) invited his cousin Zarina Agha (Salma’s mother) to his son Rishi Kapoor‘s (Actor) wedding reception in London. Many prominent Hindi film directors were present at the reception including B.R. Chopra, who was looking for a Muslim actress for one of his films. After knowing that Chopra was in search of a Muslim girl for his film, Salma flew to Bombay (now, Mumbai) in India and met him through his uncle, Raj Kapoor. Soon, she auditioned for the film and got hired. When the music directors heard Salma’s ABBA hits, they signed her to sing a few tracks in the film.
Height (approx.): 5′ 5″
Hair Colour: Brown
Eye Colour: Brown
Family, Caste & Husband
Salma Agha belongs to an Urdu speaking Muslim Pathan family. Wikipedia Her family has its roots in Amritsar, Punjab, India. While sharing the details about the origin of her surname “Agha” in an interview, Salma said,
My father (Liaqat Gul Tajik) 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.”
Parents & Siblings
Salma Agha is the daughter of Liaqat Gul Agha and Nasreen Agha (born as Zarina Ghaznavi). Her father was a tradesman who used to deal in rugs and her mother was an actress. She has a sister named Sabina Agha (Singer).
Relationships & Husband
Salma Agha was in a relationship with a London-based businessman Ayaz Sipra in the 1980’s. The relationship lasted for many years and then the duo separated. Apart from her relationship, she has been married three times. Her first husband was Javed Sheikh whom she married at the age of 16. Their marriage did not last long.
Salma then got married to the famous squash player Rahmat Khan in 1989. The couple have two children, a daughter, Sasha Agha, and a son, Liaquat Ali Khan. The couple got divorced in 2010.
Salma got married for the third time in 2011 to Manzar Shah, a Dubai-based businessman.
Salma Agha is the granddaughter of Rafiq Ghaznavi, a Pashtun musician, and Anwari Bai Begum, one of the earliest actresses of the Indian cinema, who starred in Heer Ranjha (1932). They got divorced after Nasreen/Zarina’s (Salma’s mother) birth. After their divorce, Anwari married a rich Hindu businessamn named Jugal Kishore Mehra. For marrying Anwari, Jugal Kishore abandoned his family and religion and became a Muslim, changing his name to Ahmed salman. He accepted Anwari’s daughter and became the step-father of Nasreen (Salma’s mother). Jugal was the first cousin of Raj Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor, and Sashi Kapoor; Raj Kapoor’s mother, Ramsarni Kapoor, was the sister of Jugal’s father.
Salma Agha is the cousin of the music directors Sajid and Wajid from her mother’s side.
As an Actress
Salma Agha started her acting career in 1982 with the Indian Hindi-language film “Nikaah” in which she played the role of ‘Nilofer.’ Her performance in the film was liked by the audience, and she got nominated for the Filmfare awards in the Best Actress category.
Next, she appeared in the film “Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki” (1984) opposite Mithun Chakraborty and gained popularity.
Subsequently, she appeared in the Indian films “Salma” (1985), “Oonche Log” (1985), “Jungle Ki Beti” (1988), “Paanch Fauladi” (1988), and “Pati Patni Aur Tawaif” (1990).
She made her Pakistani film debut in 1985 with the film “Hum aur Tum.” She has also appeared in the Pakistani films “Cobra” (1991) and “Hijrat” (2016).
As a Singer
Salma made her singing debut in 1982 by giving her voice to the songs “Dil Ke Armaan,” “Dil Ki Yeh Arzoo Thi,” “Chehra Chupa Liya Hai,” and “Faza Bhi Hai Jawaan Jawaan” from her debut Indian film ‘Nikaah.’ She received a Filmfare award in Best Female Playback Singer category for the film.
She then sang the track “Zara Zara Tu Pyaar kar” from the film ‘Maine Jeena Seekh Liya’ (1982). Some of her popular songs include “Tarasti Hain Deedar Ko” from the film ‘Salma’ (1985), “Chumma Chumma” from the film ‘Pataal Bhairavi’ (1985), “Come Closer” from the film ‘Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki’ (1984), “Pyar Ek Nasha Hai” from the film ‘Kanwarlal’ (1988), and “Pehla Pehla Pyaar Na Bhoole” from the film ‘Mazdoor’ (1983).
- Salma is fondly called Timoo by her friends and family.
- She is a citizen of UK on record.
- After her debut film “Nikaah”(1982), Salma purchased Reena Roy’s apartment in Bandra, while Reena moved to London with her husband Mohsin Khan.
- In 2017, Salma was granted an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI), given only to foreign citizens of Indian origin. It facilitated her to travel and reside 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).