If anything is really losing the battle in Pakistan, it’s the hope for a liberal and secular Pakistan. Intimidating, killing and silencing dissenting sane voices isn’t a new thing in that country, but now it seems that Islamic radicals and extremist have finally decided to clash with their archrivals—the artists since any form art is a highly discouraged practice in the religion.
Veena Malik, a Pakistani film star and TV artist, has recently been threatened by the Taliban in a letter that warns the artist of ‘exemplary punishment for her work in India.” Malik is currently in India hosting a TV program on ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. But that’s not the reason of incurring the wrath of religious fundamentalists in the country. She had participated in a reality TV show, called Bigg Boss, in which she had some intimate shots with an Indian actor. These scenes back in Pakistan fomented anti-Indian and religious sentiments of radicals who viewed her actions as against national pride and religious teachings.
Malik’s performance on Indian TV were then picked by India-centric nationalist and religious driven Pakistani media. In fact, she had to literally go through a public trial in an interview on a current affairs TV program where she had to face a Maulvi who alleged her of committing fahashi, or vulgarity.
For 32-year-old Veena Malik, Taliban’s recent threat is something that she cannot take lightly given the latter’s ability to realize their ferocious designs. But Malik has categorically said that she would not seek asylum in India or in any other country. However, I don’t view her decision as a pragmatic one given the rise of violent religiosity the country faces. If radicals and fundamentalists can kill a liberal governor of the province of the country and a federal minister for standing against their evil designs, then who is Veena Malik.