Yaqeen Ka Safar ~ Episodes 1-14 ~ Overview

Written by Farhat Istiaq, directed by Shahzad Kashmiri and produced by MD Productions, Yaqeen Ka Safar brings to mind HUM TV dramas of yore, when class and quality were a given and wholesome entertainment never a question. Though I have questions and concerns, about the handling of certain issues, overall this is an engaging watch.

Adapted for TV by Farhat Ishtiaq, from her own novel with the same title, Yaqeen Ka Safar opens up as a multi-track story. We are introduced to three girls from three very different walks of life. Gaiti is the blushing bride, a nutritionist happily anticipating her new life with Daniyal, a well-settled foreign qualified lawyer whom she has loved and supported through the years. Noori is a grassroots activist, a strong-willed girl from a humble background. She has fought the odds to become a teacher and is determined to spread education and awareness in her small village. Zubiya is from a middle class background, a college student whose life undergoes a 180° turn when her mother is violently murdered by her abusive father.

As the story progesses these characters are further fleshed out, we meet their families and see how the various tracks intersect and impact on each other. Noori’s life is drastically changed after she is raped by an entitled feudal and this unfortunate event introduces her to Daniyal. Daniyal has a beloved younger brother, Asfandiyar, who is studying to be a doctor and is engaged to his bratty cousin Faryal.

While at med school Asfi has a run-in with Zubiya. Her mother’s untimely death had a huge impact on Zubiya. Life was difficult enough with her mother around, but after her death Zubiya’s father’s excessive control and her bhabhi’s constant manipulations lead her to an ill-advised fling. Though she messes up pretty badly, fortunately she is able to escape with her honor intact, and it is at this point that her path intersects with Asfi’s.

Fourteen episodes in these characters have had quite a journey. Today Gaiti is a grieving single parent. Asfi is now a doctor, no longer engaged and is on his way abroad for specialized studies. Zubiya is now in med school, her father no longer the demon he once was and her bhabhi worse than ever before. Noori and Daniyal are no more. After a lot of emotional upheaval these past couple of episodes have functioned as a bridge between the past and the future – older chapters being closed and new ones being opened. The baton has passed on, from Noori and Daniyal to Zubiya and Asfi.

The serial started on a rough note as the director and editors had a tough time juggling the various tracks and there were many questionable editing choices. As the tracks came together the narrative grew more fluid and the pacing picked up appreciably. Casting has been done well and I am liking how the actors have grown into their characters and are now owning them. Shahzad Kashmiri has an eye for emotions and he has done justice to Farhat’s writing, particularly in his handling of Daniyal, Gaiti and Asfi and their family’s scenes – which I think are beautifully done – and Daniyal’s death and its aftermath. Also, the different settings for the different tracks are very nicely distinguished in terms of visuals and the overall feel.

Shaz Khan and Ahad Raza Mir seem like real brothers and Asfi’s grief at losing his brother was real and palpable. Similarly Hira Salman has been very impressive as Gaiti. I don’t know the actress playing the boys’ mother, but I really do like her a lot. Sajal is good as Zubiya, but so far there is nothing that we haven’t already seen her do in similar musibat zada larki characters. I like the way she’s evolving and am looking forward to seeing her as Dr. Zubiya, a girl no longer seeking others’ approval. Suhaee Abro was very good as Noori. My issues with his character aside, I like how EhteshamUddin has worked on the various shades of his character.

While all this has been really good and worked very well, I feel let down by the easy closure of Noori’s track. Given that this was one of the highlighted “issues,” I am disappointed in the glib handling. I hope there is a more complete resolution further down the road, because as it stands now, the takeaway message is that even in dramas there is no hope for a rape survivor in our present societal setup. Daniyal’s lawyer track brought in a welcome change from the routine gharelu masley masail, but the nitty-gritty of what he was actually doing was very naively handled. No lawyer worth his salt would be handling a politically charged rape case and its investigations this way.

Another issue problematically handled is that of domestic violence. Basically Zubiya’s father is a murderer. That he is repenting or that will suffer later is no way a propper closure to this track. Also left by the wayside is the role played by her father’s abusive control in Zubiya’s behaviour. To be fair there have been subtle hints, but in a drama where everything is so clearly spelled out, I wish Zubiya’s situation had been explicitly underscored. In all the talk about her bringing shame to the family honor and what not, the role played by the men in her family in all this seems to have become an almost non-issue. Also, her murdered mother’s vision, asking her daughter to beg forgiveness from her father because she was her mother’s daughter, was troubling to the nth degree. I understand that this is not a dark, gritty drama. But then by the same token I wish the team had not spent so much time building up issuesto then sweep them under the rug once they had outlived their utility as convenient plot points.

So yes, there are pros and cons, but all in all I find Yaqeen Ka Safar an engaging watch, a throwback to the times when one did not have to think twice before watching dramas with the entire family. Farhat Ishtiaq is in full form here in her writing of fully fleshed out characters with a well-paced emotional graph. Shahzad Kashmiri’s direction is on point and the acting is topnotch. Yes, this one does take me back in time.

What about you all? How many humsafars on this safar?

Written by SZ~

Yaqeen Ka Safar ~ OST


40 replies

  1. SZ…thank you for the overview. I tried watching episode 1 because I had heard Sajal plays the main lead a doctor and I thought that’s where it would start…alas…too many tracks…could not hold my interest….but now after your review I can start at episode 15 :D…so thanks. Will try watching it hopefully it’ll be good second half.

    P.S. are you still watching Pinjra?…I caught some scenes of the last episode…when is it going to end? Ab kiska marna baki reh gaya hain..I really do feel there are too many similarities between this Asiya and UBF Asiya…even the milk poisoning scene was similar….sorry If I keep going off topic on all these threads…:)


    • @Seher, the fist couple of episodes very quite rough but it settled down as the story progessed.. yes, I know many people are waiting for the “real” leading pair to take center stage .. lets see how their story goes. The way this serial is divided up reminds me of DeD and they way they had broken it up to give time to the two sets of pairings.

      Pinjra: No, I havent watched.. Only so much I can watch LOL! But I am surprised you are still keeping an eye on it .. I thought you didnt care for it, no?


      • LOL…I just have a high regard for the director (LOVED Sannata, DW and I am watching Farz now which is really good!) . So I was curious how it’ll end.. sad or happy. That’s why I fast forward each episode….:D….Also anticipating O rangreza…unfortunately Hum TV did the same thing they do with any decent drama….extend it to boredom YRH is facing the same thing…really dissapointing 😦


        • Yes, this dragging business is killing dramas .. I know so many friends who no longer watch weekly .. its much easier to watch in one go with ffwd button within easy reach..


  2. SZ, thank you for the wonderful overview. GOD I am so glad that I am not the only one who has an issue with the way Zubiya’s track is handled. There are points I feel like we are expected to forgive – and even feel for? – Zubiya’s abusive father. Let’s call a spade a spade – the guy’s a murderer! The drama will be sending a very harmful message if he goes unpunished.
    I love Asfi’s character and I like Ahad Raza Mir’s acting too.


    • @MM: Haina!!! That is sooo disturbing and so very out of sync with what is otherwise a good enough play. I dont like the way she is the only one being pointed out as the wrongdoer. Also, how disturbing was the dream where a murdered woman is telling her daughter to go ask for forgiveness from her murderer because she has her daughter and she didnt want the world to think ke beti ki kya tarbiyat ki hai ..

      And yes, I too see the way the abuser is being resuscitated or rehabbed if you may .. all this talk of supporting her choice of career and giving her a hissa from his jaidad .. and now him becoming a sympathetic figure..I guess they ar trying to show karma gets him in the end, but that is a very wrong message to send out. Going by that rationalization then, even in Udaari they shouldve just left the rapist go free… kabhi na kabhi khud hi kissi bus ke neechey aa kar mar jata or some such.
      Do you remember Gul-e Rana & Sangat? Though from a diff production houses but both in-house HUM projects, both had a similar theme … make the abuser sympathetic and show ke maaf kar dena chahiye etc. Wonder what these producers are thinking or not thinking?


      • Gul-e-Rana was an absolute disaster and there were scenes that actually promoted ideas and attitudes that perpetuate rape culture. I remember there was one scene where Feroze’s character attempts to rape one of his female friends, and Gul-e-Rana starts lecturing the poor girl that her Western attire was provocative and that she was asking for it!!! How do they not realize how very damaging this ”message” is?
        Clearly, they are not thinking.
        Acha SZ, what are your thoughts on Udaari?


  3. I am not watching this keenly as after DeD.. dil kharab hogya on what they do with your fav novels after they are being adapted.. but have watched few scenes here n there and thus i then start thinking novel me it was so better.. as i dont think novel me they showed abi as murderer .. just a strict father… tou if want to highlight issues then do it proper way..

    I was not happy initially when got to know Ahad mir will play Asfand..but jitna bhi dekha he.. he is playing amazing.. a perfect asfand i must say..


    • @Rehmat: I read the novel ages ago, so not even clear abt the story, but I am liking the way Daniyal, Asfi and Gaiti’s relationship is being shown. Their family scenes are very nice. And I am also glad that no one here said ke ab Gaiti ki shaadi Asfi se kara do .. I was so relieved at that.

      I hope now with this set of “issues” out of the way the second half will be better, and that we see Zubiya realizing that her mother was murdered and I do hope the self-flagellation will stop. It is ridic to see that she is med school but cannot make the connection between her fling and the prevaillng atmosphere in the household.
      and uff! how annoying are the bhai and bhabhi!!


      • Oh yes certainly asfand gaiti and daniyal track has been greatly handled.. a good addition by writer.. and then there is zubiyas track.. poorly handled.. hahah expect everything from zubiya except realising the wrong that has been done with her or with her mother.. aur tou aur SPOILER ALERT * she will forgive bhai aur bhabhi bhi in end*

        Annoying is small word for tht bhaya bhabhi.. and shukar srf ek bhai dikhaya he.. novel me 2 bhai the shayed LOL


    • @Rehmat I was wondering if you were watching it now. I read it couple of weeks ago after I finally got into YKS and must admit I like the drama so much better than the novel. My fav bits are Asfi and Danial and their family. It was so refreshing to see a (fairly) normal family on screen..
      Yes dad was super strict – but he wasn’t a murderer, but I didn’t like Zubiya’s never ending suffering saga in the novel, I enjoyed Asfandyaar’s character alot – and I’m loving Ahad here, dunno why he reminded me of whoop kinaray.. I’m hoping they will cut down on some of her suffering and get to chase.. I really didn’t get the reason why Asfandyar falls for Zubiya in the novel – it just didn’t make sense to me, but hopefully how they have handled Daniyal’s track here will make a bit more sense. #UmeedParDuniyaQaimHai


      • Novel had v.little portion of Asfand.. n with tht hie i fell in love with tht character.. mostly it was zubiya.. n tbh i only like to read hospital part.. the present one.. baqi past tou pura is full with rona dhona.. i might watch now considering asfand will be full flesh doctor…

        Reg: Asfand falling in love.. hahaha cuz vo strong thi😂 but yes i hear you.. oh well wht to say lol


        • @Rehmat yes Asfandyar had a small part comparatively but he had his presence.. I liked that! And yes hospital bits were good. Abb now it will be like watching a whole new serial, complete with change of scenery and all – Is this a new way of breaking down a long serial with 2 in 1 approach? … anyway looking forward to the hospital part – Hope it starts soon.. but if novel is anything to go by I guess we will have another two eps before that…


          • I hope not! Can’t take more takleef. I don’t know how this is supposed to convey the message of empowerment.
            Btw, on empowerment: did you guys notice how Usman just informed his family abt his decision to move .. what if his wife had issues? Or if his bahu wanted her child to be raised in a city?


            • Haan! Kisi se kia poochna – It was a pure chalo chalo northern areas chalo moment – kionke uss ge bagair tou aaj kal koi drama banta nahin hai.. i hope the move feels organic afterwards- abaai ghar and all.. in the novel they were based there pehle se – we didnt get no utho chalo tehreek..

              On a serious note though, perhaps that shows his sense of insecurity.. he has lost one of his sons and he somehow feels responsible because he couldnt stop his son in his tracks whilst he was aware of the risks – perhaps thats made him more stern and authorotative especially when it comes to security of his family. Then there’s the guilt factor that he couldnt support his son like he should have – perhaps he wants to move out into the sticks where hes hoping for a simpler life where he might be able to avoid such a scenario in future. Idk abt you all i found his inner struggle and complexity quite interesting – troublesome but intersting.


            • It’s interesting for sure, of that is indeed the intention. I dk if as usual we are reading more into this .. but all that aside I wish at least one female could’ve said something, or Asfi could’ve said something like aap ne poocha mama se ya bhabhi se or some such


            • Even re: his son, he could’ve done more from his side, assigned him a bodyguard etc, a common enough occurrence in pk these days, particularly since his son was so clearly naive..


  4. When it started I really couldn’t get into this one so I gave this one a miss. But last few weeks promos caught my attention and I got watching.. and got hooked.

    It was daniyal’s family that caught my attention… I loved the brothers. I love the intensity Ahad brings here. I wasn’t impressed with his Salaar, but here he has upped his game big time! Shaz Khan was fab and although naively handled, I enjoyed Danyal’s life outside his chardiwari. I hope this is a start of a new trend and we get to watch some more of the professional lives of our characters on screen.. something hate from typical saas baht and ghareloo politics.. having said that why doesn’t Hira ever go to her clinic? I didn’t like the suhaag raat etc but the couple had grown on me. What I’m loving most is the relationship and bonds in this family. The mum is a the auntie next door – not a typical dramaland saas..
    In the novel they didn’t mention the father – so I wonder how his character will affects the narrative. It was interesting to watch his dilemma, where he seems to be struggling with his anger and emotions, and to place the blame, and his out-of-the-blue- solution for protecting his family.

    I’m finding Zubiya’s track quite boring.. and I really hope they hurry up and get with the programme..

    Re brushing issues under the carpet : Rape, murder, domestic violence.. and counting. I wonder how these plot points helped the ratings of this drama so far? Do we know which ep did best in TRP? why are the drama makers ‘selling’ these issues at petty price (or any price at all of that matter)? As far as I know ppl are waiting for the real story I-e love story to start…

    Yes so relieved no-one mentioned gaiti-asfi.. shukr hai!

    @RK I was thinking of you and how you would rate Danial as a lawyer lol

    So far so good!


    • These masala items are not just abt TRPs it’s also about checking off a box named “socially responsible drama”

      I don’t know abt ratings but I don’t think it’s doing all that well.. it will pick up after the zubiya asfi track gets going — DeD deja vu


      • Oh haan! Ofcourse! The socially reponsible drama that turns these serious social issues into a drama… i think the drama makers believe in cleaning up after themselves.. they bring up all kinds of mess and then make sure they hide it all before moving on.. not to worry abt tying up loose ends – so long as the mess is brushed under the carpet, under the bed or shoved into the closet for next serial…


    • Haan @RK I too wanted to know how much your head hurts when you watch Mr Daniyal’s lawyering skills .. and his investigative skills tau bas subhanallah!!


  5. So, I threw caution to the wind and as you had said there is nothing in the review that isn’t public knowledge so no need to be afraid of spoilers.
    The promos themselves gave a good intro early on. Wasn’t able to watch it regularly so it just slipped away.
    Reading your review on it further backs it up as a serial to watch.

    Rest, I guess will comment once I’ve seen all 14 – phew!

    Ciao for now.


    • Ah!!!
      To return to read it again since I’ve started wAtching it. Should’ve stopped when I found the part I was at. Episode 5. But not too surprising given the path these stories take anyway. So it’s fine. (I stopped but it was a little late).
      It’s ok though, you can’t remain spoiler free theses days, it’s inevitable.


      Engaging so far.

      I guess, I’ll return AFTER watching all 14 now, lol.

      PS: Asif Raza Meer’s son?
      Is Pakistan Drama becoming the Bollywood of India? Nepotism et al. But I don’t mind so much truly, because our’s here with the exception of a very few do know what they’re doing. Mostly anyway. So as long as there is a balance between new faces and them, it should be fine.
      Giving hero/heroine type work to people who look a certain way only, now that is an issue though. But another forum for that perhaps.


      • “Giving hero/heroine type work to people who look a certain way only, now that is an issue though. But another forum for that perhaps.”

        Yes, Ahad is Asif Raza Mir’s son and yes, let’s table this thought for another day another post .. abhi Im gonna be a good girl and finish responding……


        • Finished with all 14. Your tip of. Making use of the fast forward button (in another reply on another thread) helped.

          Final verdict: If only there wouldn’t have been the few confusing interpretations/conclusion of events so far. I find that is the issue with many if not most drama serials these days. There is no proper ‘closing’ of the material (read storyline). And even if it was meant to be left open for discussion, to kind of draw your own conclusions or think of what happened scenarios, it was not executed well at all.

          Not everyone can be Harvey Specter, I guess. But then again, he has had a few troubles to deal with so may be that’s why.


          • @Arisha: True about unresolved threads being a perpetual problem, but what gets to me with certain plays is when the creatives put out self aggravandizing claims beforehand about them addressing social issues … bas woh na kariya karo that makes angry.

            Ah Suits! I just binged on season 6 a couple weeks back .. I cant watch it weekly because then the drag factor gets to me but after the season ends its as the pots say..
            main aur mera remote
            aksar yeh baatein karte hain
            tum na hote tau kaisa hota
            tum na hote tau waisa hota


    • Hello hello ji 🙂
      Glad you enjoyed the review 🙂 Bas ab all are waiting for the Zubiya Asfi track to get going .. lets hope we dont have to wait too long.


  6. Yup. Not everyone can be the best closer in town, ala Specter.
    I found only, half a season on Netflix…season 6.

    Pots also made sense; I thought u were referencing artistically to the ‘pot calling the kettle black’ something..haha.


  7. So, as always, late to the party! But der aayein durust aayein, yes?

    I’ve now watched YKS through Episode 14, so I feel qualified to comment, lol. Great job with the review as always, SZ!

    There are things I genuinely like about YKS. The family dynamic is interesting, the faces are fresh/pretty, the acting is all-around high quality.

    The cinematography and shot composition in YKS are fantastic. Some of the scenes shot in rural locales took my breath away. Also, the editing on this show is perfect, and the sound design is (for a change) not something to complain about.

    And now, on to the not-so-great stuff. The Noori subplot is actually the most interesting part of YKS for me so far, but as well as it started out–with a mazloom who is actually pretty tough, a genuinely helpful NGO person, and a committed lawyer–the execution of this plot has been downright terrible so far.

    I understand that TV shows can’t go too deeply into legal procedural issues, because if they did, watching YKS would have been like watching paint dry. I understand the need to gloss over certain things, but here they actually got the procedure wrong in a way that has serious downstream impact for the story.

    When Noori first retains Daniyal, he files a petition to move the court to force the police to lodge an FIR and began the investigation process. This is exactly what the victim’s lawyer is supposed to do in this sort of case. But after that, it goes all wrong. For starters, although Daniyal can continue to represent Noori, a criminal prosecution for rape does not include the victim as a party. A rape trial involves the state (i.e. the public prosecutor) against the accused party (i.e. the defense). So what’s Daniyal doing going to court at all?!

    Also, once the FIR has been lodged, it is improper for anyone except the police to conduct an investigation. So Daniyal is effectively ruining Noori’s chances of getting justice by running off half-cocked to interview Noori’s family and to investigate on his own. In the process, he’s spoiling the evidence chain and tipping off the accused’s defense team as to his own strategy.

    Finally, because Noori is not an actual party to the case, Daniyal’s death should have no impact on the rape trial itself. His death doesn’t mean the state’s case against the accused goes away. I assume the court never would have allowed the FIR to be registered if there wasn’t some threshold evidence of assault (i.e. Noori’s medical report, for example).

    Even assuming that Daniyal’s presence was necessary for the case to go forward, why doesn’t another lawyer step in for him? His associate Ilyas? His own father? This case mattered so much to Daniyal he was willing to risk his own life? So why doesn’t anyone else continue the case for him?

    Obviously, Noori’s decision to take matters into her own hands makes all this moot. But is this the message the writers want to send? That ordinary people can never get justice, that you must either wait for karmic retribution, or resort to vigilanteism? Here was an opportunity to tell a different kind of story, and in the end, the point of Noori’s subplot seems to have been no more than to create a situation that would break up Asfandyar and Faryal so the Zubiya-Asfi thing can finally kick off. (I know I’m being harsh, and I haven’t seen the rest of the show, but allow me to stew in my own outrage for a few minutes, lol).

    Liked by 1 person

    • RK,

      I started watching this drama from around episode 18 or so and I thoroughly enjoyed till the concluding episode.

      The episodes you have seen, I have yet to see the same. I enjoyed reading your take on the same. Please continue to share your experience as you see more episodes.


      • @AS: Allow me to reiterate that this is a blog with a very specific purpose, to discuss dramas. Please refrain from sharing gossip and posting second and third hand opinions of people on various fora. If anyone is so inclined they are more than capable of digging up dirt for themselves. You are, of course, welcome to share your original insight on the dramas we are dicussing.

        All of us put in a lot of thought and effort into what we write and I take pride in the quality of conversations on this blog. I would, therefore, greatly appreciate it if you could refrain from sharing/posting stuff that goes against the spirit of this blog. I have deleted a part of your comment because it contributed nothing of value to the conversation on hand.


        • @SZ

          Few days back, when i learnt that Farhat has blocked you – a thought came in my mind that I should try asking her at some suitable moment to unblock you.

          Personally i feel it is no big deal if someone blocks us on social media.

          I like her writing and I like your writing and thought cropped up automatically in my mind (asking her to unblock you). With that reference in mind, I shared those thoughts here and I appreciate your removing the same.

          In future also, please feel free to do same if I inadvertently write something which is not in sync with goals of our blog


          • @AS: This is precisely the point I am trying to make: To focus on drama discussions only and not get into matters that have no direct relevance. My point about Farhat blocking me was not made in the context of complaining or being hurt or asking and/or expecting someone to reach out to her. NO.ABSOLUTELY. NOT.

            It has remained unsaid, and so far in so many years I have never had to explicitly say this, but I see the need to spell it out now: This forum, and other such discussion forums too for that matter, are goverened by a very strict code of ethics where readers and commentators are expected to respect each other and their privacy and space – whatever is said here is left here. To go talk about what one reads here, or to pass off opinions and conversations from here as one’s own, or to take upon one’s self to interfere in matters that are of no concern to them, are a huge breach of that ethical boundary,

            I have no problem with people visiting and reading but when conversations here get taken out of context then I have a huge issue. I hope I have made myself very very clear. Please do not overstep these limits. If there is nothing original and meaningful to contribute then please desist.


    • @RK: Hey there! Was nodding my head as I read your detailed comment. I am so glad to read from another viewer who can see through the pretty pkging and question the contents of this pkg.

      Re: the cinematography, here’s some fun trivia: Shehzad Kashmiri was the DOP for the Humsafar, ZGH, MeJ. Hence the fact that his directorial projects look stunning is no surprise 🙂

      Looking fwd to reading part 2 of your rants.

      Liked by 1 person

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