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Tuesday 6 December 2011

Pakistani Actress Demands FHM Withdraw Edition

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Pakistani Actress Demands FHM Withdraw Edition

Lawyers for Pakistani actress Veena Malik have served a legal notice on FHM India after a risqué photo-shoot she did for the magazine’s December edition challenged two powerful groups back home: Mullahs and the military’s spy agency.

Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
Veena Malik displayed a collection by designer Riyaz Gangji in Mumbai, April 19.
FHM India’s December front cover shows Ms. Malik, no stranger to controversy, posing nude with the initials of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence military spy agency on her arm. (Click here to view the cover.)
Now, Ms. Malik is alleging that FHM doctored the photos. Her lawyer, Mumbai-based Ayaz Bilawala, says in an interview it’s true that she had ISI tattooed on her upper arm. But, he alleges FHM changed one image, where she was scantily dressed, to make it totally nude. (It should be pointed out that even in the nude shot, an artful pose shields her most sensitive regions from view.)
Bilawala & Co., his firm, has served a legal notice on FHM India demanding the December edition be withdrawn from circulation and Ms. Malik paid $2 million in damages, according to Mr. Bilawala.
Kabeer Sharma, chief editor of the magazine, says he received an email from Ms. Malik’s lawyers making these demands. He declined to comment further given that there are legal proceedings underway. But he directed this reporter to an article in the Indian Express, which quoted the stylist and photographer from the shoot as saying the nude shots were genuine.
“It’s inexplicable why all of this controversy is happening,” Mr. Sharma said.
Ms. Malik, who appeared in Indian reality TV show Bigg Boss last season, caused consternation among some at home for her on-camera relationship with Indian actor Ashmit Patel.
Abdul Qawi, a Muslim cleric, told Pakistani station Aaj TV over the weekend that her latest escapades were a “shame for all Muslims,” the Associated Press reported.
Ms. Malik angrily criticized Mr. Qawi earlier this year on a talk show appearance in Pakistan, during which the conservative cleric had criticized her behavior in India. She replied that she had acted appropriately on Bigg Boss and said Mr. Qawi was only attacking her because she was a woman.
The response of the ISI, the military spy agency, to her latest controversy is not known. But it’s likely the intelligence agency has better things to worry about – like U.S. claims its agents continue to back the Taliban. An ISI spokesman declined to comment Monday.
Ms. Malik told Pakistani media the ISI reference was supposed to poke fun at Indians, who tend to see Pakistan’s spy agency as behind every bad thing that happens in India.
So, what’s next for Ms. Malik?
In September, she began shooting for her first Bollywood film and there are more in the pipeline.
Nor is she leaving her reality TV past behind. She’ll soon star in an Indian reality show where she’ll try to find a husband.
She has admitted to being unlucky in love. An earlier relationship with Pakistani cricketer Mohammad Asif ended. A British court last month sentenced Mr. Asif to one year in prison for his role in a match-fixing scandal, causing Ms. Malik to criticize him for bringing shame on Pakistan.

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