Veena Malik to turn all holy this Ramzan for television
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After rubbing conservatives the wrong way by posing semi-nude for an Indian men's magazine some months ago, Pakistan's controversy queen Veena Malik is all set to turn holy during Ramzan - - well, at least on the idiot box.
Promos for Malik's new TV show, which feature her trying to look her religious best, have gone viral on the internet. With a blue dupatta covering her head, Malik says a throaty "Astaghfaar" (Arabic for seeking forgiveness), as a solitary tear dramatically rolls down her cheek.
Hero TV channel, which will air the show, has become the butt of jokes overnight. There are also many funny takes on Malik's first Bollywood movie "Daal Main Kuch Kaala Hai", which is due for release soon.
Giving Malik company on TV during the holy month of Ramzan will be Maya Khan, a morning show host who earned the ire of people across Pakistan when she accosted "immoral" couples dating in Karachi's parks and was fired by her channel.
Khan will be back as the co-host of "Sheher-e-Ramadan" with Shahid Masood on ARY channel. The show is already being called "Sharbat-e-Ramadan" in jest.
Yet another Ramzan special, "Pehchaan Ramzan", will be hosted by controversial televangelist Amir Liaquat on Geo TV. Liaquat was at the centre of a storm some years ago after rights activists said he had incited violence against Ahmadis during a show.
More recently, behind the scenes footage from his show, leaked on the internet, showed him cracking ribald jokes and making fun of people calling in to his programme.
However, it is Malik's "holy" debut which most cannot get over. "Amir Liaquat and Veena Malik doing shows for Ramadan. When is Pamela Anderson starting? Who owns the Hero TV?" read a comment on The Express Tribune newspaper's website. Malik was among the first to tweet about her Ramzan show. "After a long gap..so exited to record a show for Holy Ramadan transmission n that 2 for a television channel..which was due 4 quite sum tym!!"