Akmal started his film career as a makeup artist and appeared in some films as an extra artist. He was a tall and handsome man and a pre-peared film hero but got his first film Jabroo in 1956. He struggled many years to become a successful film hero. In this period, he also appeared as villain actor, especially in film Baghawat (1963) against Sudhir, who was a dominating Punjabi film hero in the 1950s.
Akmal got breakthrough from super hit Punjabi film Choorian in 1963 and the next four years, he dominated Punjabi films. His all time best film was Malangi in 1965 which ran for double golden jubilee in Odeon Cinema Lahore.
Akmal (real name Mohammad Asif Khan) was born in the old city of Lahore in 1929 and died on June 11, 1967. His sudden death was a big shock for film fans. His pairs with Shirin, Naghma, Firdous and Mazhar Shah were very popular and he married Firdous as well. His son (from the first wife) Shehbaz Akmal was seen in few films in the 1980s but he failed. His elder brother Ajmal Khan was a legendary character actor in Pakistani films. They were 4 brothers and 8 sisters.