For many in Pakistan, anyway. We wrote here about Miss Malik, a Pakistani actress and model whose web site is here. Malik has been controversial for some time now. The Taliban has threatened to kill her, and she has been denounced by leading Pakistani clerics. In our post, we praised her fiery defense of her career and persona, which, in my view, put the imam who had denounced her to shame.
Now Miss Malik has upped the ante–perhaps unintentionally–by appearing, sans clothing and with the initials on the Pakistani intelligence service on her arm, on the cover of FHM magazine:
The photo has caused an uproar in Pakistan, whose government says it is looking into the matter–holding out hope, apparently, that the photo is a fake. Miss Malik herself has backpedaled:
Malik said the nude photo was published in violation of her agreement with FHM India and she was considering legal action against the magazine.
Malik acknowledged having been photographed for a “bold but not nude shot.” She said the editor of the magazine had promised that he would cover most of the photo with the ISI initials.
The photo was intended to poke fun at the Indian fear of Pakistani spies, she said, adding “whatever happens (in India), people say ISI is behind that.”
Not quite the ringing defense that we applauded last time. Still, while men’s magazines are not the apex of culture–anyone’s culture–it is hard not to sympathize with this young Pakistani:
Twitter commentator Umair Javed however called on Pakistanis to “make copies of the picture and bury it in your backyard. This way, our grandkids will know there were some amongst us who lived free!”
UPDATE: FHM India, in response to Miss Malik’s suggestion that she hadn’t really posed nude (or whatever she was trying to convey) has released a second photo as an alternative cover for the magazine. It is unclear whether they have actually produced magazines with this cover or not. What is interesting to me is that the image is explicitly political. That’s a hand grenade, right? And some sort of a military belt. I read the image as implying the ISI is a terrorist organization:
This could make things really hot for Miss Malik in Pakistan.