Karachi: Sindh High Court yesterday admitted a petition against Veena Malek for being a traitor after her nude photo appeared with her arm tattooed ‘ISI' on the cover of a magazine in India.
Malek, a controversial Pakistani actress, got a blitz of media and social attention after she was featured on the cover of FHM, a men's magazine.
Besides posing nude, she also got her arm tattooed with the word ISI, the abbreviation of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence service, provoking a large segment of society.
"This is her personal matter to be shot nude but getting her arm written with ISI is definitely an act of a traitor," Muzaffar Askari, the petitioner said.
The court has fixed Saturday for hearing the petition.
"She has desecrated our national institution which is responsible for the security of the country," Askari, who is a reporter of an eveninger said.
Besides, Malek, Kabeer Sharma, the editor of the magazine, has also been named in the petition.
Both the religious and secular sections of the society took exception to the publication of Malek's picture on the Indian magazine cover.
Pakistani media too have created much hype over the controversial picture.
Many private TV channels broadcast it as a breaking news and kept carrying it in their headlines and main bulletins. Beepers of prominent media persons and analysts from both the countries followed the event.
"This is a fact that she is a flopped actress having no films in hand for many years," said Rana Aqeel, head of entertainment department of Geo TV, the largest Pakistani channel.
But it was not Malek but her act which mattered.
"She is a failure yes but there is no doubt that the local media gave Malek a full blown coverage. She was the hot-cake because she knows the art of how to sell herself," Aqeel remarked.
Religious circles were so angry that many clerics even refused to talk about her.
"Had it been a truly Islamic country, she would be sternly punished according to Sharia [Islamic laws]," said Mufti Usman Yar.
The cleric believed it not only distorted the Muslim ethics but also brought a bad name to the national honour and dignity.
"She has torn apart our national identity and it is certainly an indelible mark on our national character," the Mufti said.
People from different walk of life also deplored Malek's act.
"We are a Muslim country and even if we are not, our eastern culture calls for the sanctity of women and even by all social standards of South Asian culutre, it is not acceptable at all," Laila Umar, a 36-year-old housewife said.
Some believe deploring the Malek picture was a hypocratic act of the society. "She definitely did a bad thing in terms of our social and other laws," said Javedur Rahman, a 32-year public relations executive.
"But I feel compelled to disapprove it because of the social and religious pressures; otherwise, I desire to see such things," Rahman said.
"We all do but we don't dare to say that."