Death threats for Pakistan actress
A well-known Pakistani actress on Saturday said she had received death threats from militants after appearing on the Indian equivalent of hit reality television show "Big Brother".
Veena Malik, 27, incurred the wrath of hardline Islamic clerics for her performance on "Big Boss", during which she indulged in several intimate scenes with Indian actor Ashmit Patel that included massaging his head and neck.
Clerics accused her of shaming Pakistan in rival India and she also received a letter threatening to "punish" her.
"I am quite shocked after receiving this letter. First I got only verbal threats but now it is in writing," Malik told AFP by telephone from India, where she is hosting cricket World Cup show "Big Toss".
"Security is a concern and the Pakistani government is responsible for my and my family's security. I hope that the government will provide me that security," Malik said.
The actress said people with tight security details had been killed in Pakistan, referring to the January assassination of Punjab governor Salman Taseer over his opposition to a draconian blasphemy law.
"What can I say except that I have firm belief in God and life and death is in his hand," she said.
Malik said she would return to Pakistan despite the threats.
"To live in my country is my right. I am a daughter of this soil. I guarantee that I will come back to Pakistan and will live in my own country," she said.
"My hands are clean. And I have done nothing wrong. I am not the person to back out after such threats."
Sohail Rashid, Malik's media manager, said she had received a letter from the little-known Maulana Ahmed Masood, who claims to be a leader of Tehreek-e-Taliban, or the Taliban movement.
The authenticity of the threat letter or the credentials of its writer could not be verified and the spokesman for Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan was not immediately available.
"The letter says that Tehreek-e-Taliban has taken a decision as a Muslim to punish Veena Malik soon," Rashid told AFP.
"We want our daughters and sisters in our homes only and Veena Malik, who is humiliating Pakistan's name in India, will be punished soon," Rashid quoted from the letter.
"We are soon going to punish Veena Malik so that our future generations may be afraid of going to India. It is the responsibility of all Pakistanis and Muslims, but now we are going to accomplish it," Rashid quoted the letter as saying.
Ties between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan, which have fought two of their three wars since 1947 over Kashmir, have been dogged by border and resource disputes, and accusations of Pakistani militant activity in India.
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