The real shame in Pakistan
In this month’s issue of FHM India, an international men’s magazine, Pakistani actress Veena Malikmade worldwide headlines with a risqué nude photo shoot. While much of the attention has been on what Malik wasn’t wearing, one of the most powerful elements of her photo shoot was what she was sporting: a big, bold tattoo on her left arm, stating very simply, “ISI,” for Pakistani’s secretive Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate.
The cover headline: “Pakistani W.M.D. Veena Malik Shows You How to Throw a Grenade!”
Indeed, the cover has been explosive; PakAlertPress.com, for instance splashed a headline on its blog: “Indiaand Pakistan Are Going Nuclear Over Provocative Political Tattoo.” And the photo has elicited a furious reaction in Pakistan‘s media and in its living rooms.[[Break]]
In one fell swoop, the enormous tattoo on a bare woman’s body managed to demystify, emasculate and parody the ISI — something most people have been afraid to do in public since the inception of the agency a year after the birth of the nation in 1947. Founded with a mission of coordinating intelligence in the country after Pakistan’s loss to India in the 1947 war in Kashmir, the agency has become a feared, though privately mocked, enterprise, its hands allegedly in every back-room Pakistani deal; rigging elections, training militants for battle in India and Afghanistan, and monitoring its own citizens. The tattoo’s location on Malik’s body takes on special meaning in light of retired Adm. Mike Mullen’s statement in September that the militant Haqqani Network, considered by most Western analysts and experts to be based in the tribal areas of Pakistan, is a “veritable arm” of the ISI.