Aliya Khan In ‘The Freelancer,’ Explained: What Happens To Kashmira Pardeshi’s Character?

Neeraj Pandey’s extraction thriller The Freelancer has been released, and it brings an end to an exciting drama about saving a young woman from an ISIS-controlled area amidst the peak of their power in the region. The young woman is Aliya Khan, who was married into a rich family from Malaysia. Part two of the show was released, and there was a definite end to the whole drama around getting her out of the region without drawing much attention.

Aliya Khan was the only daughter of Inayat and Sabeena Khan and was raised to be a righteous person. Her father, Inayat Khan, was one of the toughest cops with the Mumbai Police but was removed from his post along with Avinash Kamath for gross misconduct while on duty. Avinash Kamath went on to become a mercenary and never looked back. Aliya’s father stayed back. As described by Sabeena to Avinash on his arrival in Mumbai, Aliya Khan and Mohsin met during their time in college in Singapore and eventually fell in love. The wedding happened rather quickly, without any hassles. The initial days after the wedding were peaceful, and Aliya kept in touch on every leg of the journey. Even though Turkey was a surprise addition to the trip, Inayat and Sabeena were not worried. Aliya lost contact with her parents after reaching Turkey.

The Freelancer also began with Aliya sprinting away from two men hired by Mohsin. She was finally caught by them, and this was the beginning of the nightmare she was put through. Aliya did not realize she had walked into a large trap laid down by her husband Mohsin and his family. It was on reaching Turkey that he revealed the plan of his family and how they intend to stay back in ISIS-controlled Syria for the rest of their lives. Aliya was not given a choice. Their radicalization was the reason Aliya was not even asked if she wanted to be a part of their journey. Aliya was horrified because she would never have wanted the life of a slave going forward. The young woman was educated, and Mohsin had promised her a better life in Dubai, but instead, they were headed towards a life that was certain for his family but uncertain for Aliya.

Long before their trip had begun, Aliya was blindsided and her phone was taken away; thankfully, she forgot to inform Mohsin about the second phone, and this move turned out to be beneficial for her extraction. It was too late by the time Aliya could recognize there was a big change in plans, and the family did not intend to inform her about it. Aliya remained in shock throughout the journey to the town of Dayr Az Zawr. She had lost hope for a long time because there seemed to be no end to the atrocities the women were put through. Aliya and other women who were brought against their will were terrorized by the Al Khansa brigade, an all-female moral police that makes sure women do not break the law, and whose tolerance level is low.  

Aliya had sadly given up on being treated with dignity and respect, as Mohsin resorted to physically harming her and sexually molesting her to the point where she had to submit herself to him. Mohsin and his family were rich, and they practically gave away all of their money to the radical Islamist group they had joined in the hope of building a strong army that could be raised to protect their faith from outsiders.

Aliya finally found the phone she had forgotten to share with Mohsin and managed to get in touch with her mother. Avinash kindly asked her to follow a series of steps to make sure she was never caught by the state radar or, worse, by her husband. They would not forgive her for trying to establish contact outside of their state without their permission. Aliya was not made aware of her father’s death. The only option Aliya had was to build up the courage to follow the routine given to her and showcase patience because her extraction might take time. To help safely remove her from the town, she was also asked to provide all kinds of details about the town she is in to Avinash, so that it would be essential for the deal he made with the CIA. 

Aliya was leading a harrowing life but she managed to offer all kinds of intelligence to Avinash and clung to the hope of being saved by her father’s best friend. Aliya had also made friends with a British-Pakistani girl, Nabila, whose fate was the same as hers. A highly educated girl such as Nabila was forced to follow her husband’s family to this hell, and just like Aliya, she was desperate to leave. Aliya and Nabila’s state is a result of rampant brainwashing done in the name of faith and never looking beyond it. Aliya and Nabila would rather live and die on their own terms instead of those of a bunch of indoctrinated men who have been making oppressive laws for women.

Aliya was on the verge of being extracted by Avinash and his team when Nabila interrupted everything when she came across her friend’s other phone. Nabila, who claimed to have been Aliya’s only solace in this town, resorted to blackmailing as it was the only way out for her. Nabila, just like Aliya, was barely surviving, which is why she needed to push the button to make her succumb to the demands. Aliya was asked to blatantly lie to Nabila because there was no room for another person to be rescued. Since she was a Pakistani woman as well, there could be a diplomatic row as well, which might further complicate the matter. Initially, this was a solo mission for Avinash, but later he had to involve the CIA, IB, and R&AW to make sure the operation was carried out smoothly.

Aliya’s plan was busted by Nabila, and she was overpowered by the woman. Aliya was eventually rescued by Avinash after he accidentally took Nabila with them, who was killed by ISIS border security. Aliya was saved only because of Avinash’s insistence. Aliya’s patience worked in her favor, and she got out of town in no time. She witnesses her cruel husband being killed by Avinash, and she shows no remorse because the man had betrayed her long before he accused her of abandoning the faith. She was free as a bird who would live on her terms, but she would take time to find someone she could wholeheartedly trust. There was no end to the pain Aliya felt from being married to Mohsin, and all of that would be a thing of the past once she was taken to Dubai. Even though she wanted to head home and meet her mother, Avinash convinced her to stay back in Dubai under a new identity to avoid any mishaps. Aliya was safe until she remained undercover. There would be no end to the PTSD she would face, but living on her own would be a step forward towards a new life.


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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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