Born in a nawab family of Peshawar in 1920, Naseem Akhtar was the younger sister of Sardar Akhtar (wife of famous Indian director Mehboob Khan) and Bahar Akhtar (wife of A.R. Kardar – another famous Indian director credited for establishing the film industry of Lahore).
She was an established playback singer before partition and sang for major music directors of that era including Khurshid Anwar, Naushad, and Khemchand Prakash. After partition, she migrated to Pakistan. Divorced from Rafiq Maula(?), a Pakistani producer, she spent her last days in miserable poverty and breathed her last around 1952 after severe unattended illness.
Some of her memorable songs include Aag lagi dil mein woh pyari (Shahjehan, 1946) and Kisi kai madhur pyar mein dil mera kho gaya with Sushil Sahu (Sindoor, 1947).