Pakistan’s Hottest Female TV Star and ‘His’ Mission
Ali Saleem, or Begum Nawazish Ali as known to hundreds of thousands of Pakistani television viewers, remains upbeat about what he or she does best. It’s a message Saleem usually delivers swathed in gorgeous saris and thick makeup, with glitter on his hairless arms and a mischievous lipstick smile on his face. Ensconced in the set’s chintz and candlelight, the Begum, who hasn’t lost the spark for sex, swaps fashion tips with female guests, flirts shamelessly with the men (even with a mullah on one night), and gets in frequent shots at politicians, including President Bush, for whom she carries a bit of a torch. Out of costume but not out of character, one of Pakistan’s hottest TV stars was sipping his first tea of the day as the sun faded on a December afternoon, the shadow of his beard evidence of rising late after another night of partying hard in the country’s media capital. Ali Saleem said his character is based on the wives of army officers he met as a young man growing up on bases around the country, following a father who is a military academy contemporary of Musharraf and a retired colonel.