Pakistan: Queen of controversies Veena Malik may or not have done a nude shoot for an Indian magazine but this time it may not be a hands-down win for Pakistan`s custodians of morality because her admirers seem to have multiplied over the year.
Malik, who last ran into trouble for not playing miss-goodie-two-shoes on Indian reality show `Bigg Boss IV` earlier this year, is back in the spotlight for allegedly posing nude for the cover of FHM India magazine with an "ISI" tattoo on her arm.
She has denied posing nude and has threatened to sue the magazine, whose editor Kabeer Sharma insists that he has a video and an email from Malik that prove the authenticity of the photo.
Pakistan`s Interior Minister Rahman Malik has said he had not seen the pictures.
However, he contended that if Malik had done a nude shoot, "strict action" would be taken against her.
Women have come out in hordes in the virtual world, at least, to support Malik.
"Veena I am proud of you!" wrote Sonia Wahab on a web page.
The best response came from filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy.
She posted on Twitter: "For all you clerics waiting to pounce on Veena Malik better have your excuses lined up about why you were looking at FHM in the first place!"
On the website of The Express Tribune newspaper, Abdul Jabbar posted: "Veena has every right to pose how she wants.
"May be she`s showing our moral hypocrisy where we value a woman by her sex life. Maybe she feels she has got nothing to be ashamed of her body, that the female body is not a source of sin and shame. I for one, will not condemn her.
"The Egyptian blogger did it recently and her reasons were valid. There is no need to attach a woman`s value in society by the amount of clothes she wraps herself into," he wrote.
But Malik had her share of detractors too. On a Facebook page floated to hate all things Indian, the administrator posted: "Shameless Veena Malik poses naked for men`s magazine FHM (India). Notice the ISI tattoo on her arm. This gesture from eastern (sic) neighbour speaks of their frustration and hatred towards the ISI. Veena Malik shame on you".
Over 80 comments that followed requested members of the page to ask Pakistan`s Supreme Court to cancel Malik`s nationality and to make sure that she does not live in the country again.
Malik has been trending on microblogging website Twitter since the photo became public yesterday.
Actress Meera, Malik`s bete noire, called her a "completely mad woman".
The feminists, while supporting Malik`s decision to pose nude, wondered if it also amounted to real empowerment.
"Why `empowerment` and a `free life` mean no clothes?" tweeted Ayesha Malik.
Some others explained why Malik was in denial. "After all, she probably fears being stripped of her Pak citizenship," wrote blogger Cafe Pyala.