‘Uncle Jani’ actor Naji Khan passes away

Suffering from prolonged kidney disease the actor was buried at a graveyard in Islamabad

Shahzeb Khan November 18, 2020
Naji Khan hailed from Peshawar and was professionally associated with the pharmaceutical industry. PHOTO: SOCIAL MEDIA


Renowned Urdu, Pashto, and Hindko television actor Naji Khan – affectionately known for his character ‘Uncle Jani’ passed away on Tuesday.

Suffering from prolonged kidney disease the actor passed away on Tuesday and was buried at a graveyard in Islamabad. He leaves behind a widow and two sons.

Naji hailed from Peshawar and was professionally associated with the pharmaceutical industry. However, he was attracted towards showbiz where he found early success on the stage, playing the character of Tipu Sultan in a drama held at the Peshawar Government College.

Due to his impressive performance, Nazeer Bhatti, a renowned artist and Naji’s brother, pushed him to try out at the Peshawar station of Pakistan Television.

There, Naji found fame as the famous ‘Uncle Jani’ in a comedy-drama.

His success as ‘Uncle Jani’ and versatility in languages led to a period during the 1980s when he worked in several plays in the Urdu, Pashto, and Hindko languages including Jaal, Pagdandi, Roshni, Dehleez, Intezar, and Goonj.

Despite suffering a horrific injury train accident while shooting for Goonj, the veteran actor managed to complete shooting the scene before accepting medical aid.

He also played as Badar Munir’s father in the movie Kochwan.

Zulfiqar Qureshi, a close associate of the late actor, and a Hindko drama artist told The Express Tribune that Naji was an interesting artist.

Qureshi said that Naji would finance dramas himself just so that his fans could keep watching him. He developed a knack for playing villainous roles and it earned him many roles in several PTV dramas.

Apart from his representation of ‘Uncle Jani’, he is also well known for playing ‘Mano Khan’ in Pashto dramas and at one point, he was a permanent feature of any PTV drama produced in Peshawar.

Ameenullah, a young actor, told The Express Tribune, that Naji always helped his fellow artists in Peshawar - whether they were industry veterans or freshmen.

Even though he shifted to the federal capital in the later years of his life, he would always find ways to keep in touch with his community back in Peshawar.

He is also known for his work on furthering cross border cultural ties, as he was part of the group which hosted Randheer Kapoor and Rishi Kapoor upon their visit of Peshawar in 1984.

Naji was a recipient of the Fakhr-e-Peshawar Award presented by the Peshawar district government last year.


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ