Shabnam was Pakistan's most successful Urdu film heroine. She is the record holder of the largest number of super hit Urdu films in Pakistan. She was also heroine of the longest running Urdu film Aina (1977) in Karachi.
Shabnam stared her film career in a Bengali film in Dhaka, ex. East Pakistan, now Bangladesh. She was introduced in Urdu film Chanda in 1962. Her first film in West Pakistan was Samundar in 1968. Andaleeb (1969) was her first super hit film. She got breakthrough as top Urdu film heroine from film Dosti in 1971. She appeared in three Punjabi films in the end of her film career but did not succeeded, then she left Pakistan to live in her native country Bangladesh.
Shabnam was born as Jharna Basak - a Hindu born Bengali actress, who converted to Christianity after she married prominent musician Robin Ghosh.