Dr Kashif Latif and Dr Shazia Hussain, Medical College’s Class of 1990 are a unique AKU success story. Not only have they established themselves as successful medical specialists in the US, the couple have been deeply involved in philanthropy and, now, cinema.
The two doctors visited Pakistan recently for the premiere of their film, Ishq Positive (Positive Love) and spoke about their cinematic adventure, their work for charity and their memories of AKU.
Q. Tell us more about Ishq Positive? Is there a story behind this unique name?
Shazia: Ishq Positive is a love story with a twist. Unlike most Pakistani movies today that have a strong Western edge, this has a very Lollywood feel to it. All the[Office1] shooting for the film was done in Pakistan by local performers.
We loved the theme of positivity and so as soon as the title was mentioned to us we felt that we should run with it. There is so much negativity around the country these days that we’d like to give the audience a pleasant break from their daily lives.
Kashif: It’s been made entirely in Pakistan in scenic locations such as the Nur Mahal in Bahawalpur. The cinematography throughout the film is beautiful.
Q. Tell us more about your philanthropic work.
Shazia: We’ve been involved in fundraising for many years. Our first-ever campaign was seven years ago during the 2010 floods in Pakistan. We raised over USD 250,000 by working with a local chapter of the Aga Khan Foundation in the US. Since then we’ve done a number of fundraising events where we have invited renowned Pakistani singers to perform in aid of health and education charities such as the Zindagi Trust, the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital and the Silkroad charity in Afghanistan.
Q. How were things at AKU in the 1990s when you were studying?
Shazia: We saw this campus through its birth. We were the very first batch to complete their entire programme at the Stadium Road campus. Before us, students used to do part of their studies at the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan in Defence.
AKU had a very different atmosphere back then as today’s tall trees had just been planted then. In fact, the trees in the Medical College courtyard were planted right in front of us!
Kashif: I used to play cricket where the garden in the Medical College courtyard is now. We wouldn’t stop playing until the security guards stopped us!
Shazia: There were just 200 students at the time and so we experienced exceptionally close interactions with the faculty. All students knew one another and so there was a really great vibe on the campus.
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