Humour and anger were available in fair measure across Pakistan as reports reached here about actor Veena Malik reportedly posing nude for the cover of an Indian magazine.
Though the cover has been the buzz on social networking sites since Friday afternoon, the local media was slow to pick up the story and even then the ‘ghairat brigade' (honour brigade) was not out in strength with daggers drawn.
Given that her previous appearance on Indian television's Big Boss season had got her into trouble back home, many found it difficult to believe the cover picture was real. It must have been morphed seemed to be the general belief and so when her public relations manager claimed that the photographs were not hers, many bought that version. In fact, the dominant sentiment was that if the photograph was hers, then Ms. Malik probably had no intention of returning to Pakistan, knowing full well that there would be a lynch mob waiting for her. Worse still, was the fact that the bare-all photograph has ISI tattooed on her arm.
In an interview to Geo News, Ms. Malik said she had done a bold shoot for FHM magazine but it was not a nude shoot. As for the ISI tattoo on her arm, she said it was the magazine editor's idea to take a dig at the general Indian tendency to blame everything that goes wrong in India on the ISI. Maintaining that she would take recourse to legal action as her photographs had been doctored, Ms. Malik said she was well aware of her limitations and had never in her life done a nude shoot. Meanwhile, the magazine's website on Saturday changed the cover of the December edition though it still featured her in a different pose. This time, the “Pakistani WMD'' — as the magazine chose to call her — is caught in the act of pulling the pin out of a grenade.
And, once again Twitter was abuzz with some among Pakistan's tweeting community expressing disgust, the liberal lot saluting her for the courage in doing what she wanted, and others making light of it with sarcasm. Commenting on the latest FHM cover, one tweeter said “Veena Malik would make a terrible ISI agent considering how much she reveals” while another wondered if cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf would invite her to the party fold now that she had revealed all her assets.