New York: In a big snub to Pakistan, the UNICEF on Friday said its goodwill ambassador and Indian actor Priyanka Chopra retains the right to speak in her personal capacity on issues concerning her.
The statement followed Pakistan’s demand to “denotify” Priyanka as UNICEF goodwill ambassador, saying that her support for the Indian armed forces and the Indian government amid heightened tensions between the two countries goes against the principles of peace.
“When UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors speak in their personal capacity, they retain the right to speak about issues that interest or concern them,” Stephane Dujarric, the spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said during a media briefing. “Their personal views or actions do not necessarily reflect those of UNICEF,” he added.
On Tuesday, Pakistan’s federal minister of human rights Shireen M Mazari had written a letter to UNICEF’s Executive Director Henrietta Fore, requesting to remove Priyanka as the goodwill ambassador.
HR Minister Dr @ShireenMazari1 today wrote a letter to UNICEF chief to remove Priyanka Chopra as UN Goodwill Ambassador for Peace over her pro-war comments and support to BJP Govt policy of ethnic cleansing/racism/fascism/genocide@UNICEF @UNHumanRights @pid_gov @appcsocialmedia pic.twitter.com/owtnbjSfEX
— Ministry of Human Rights Government of Pakistan (@mohrpakistan) August 21, 2019
The Pakistani minister had raked up an tweet by the actor posted in February in the aftermath of the Balakot strike, praising the Indian army.
Jai Hind #IndianArmedForces 🇮🇳 🙏🏽
— PRIYANKA (@priyankachopra) February 26, 2019
Earlier this month, CNN reported a Pakistani woman at a beauty conference in Los Angeles had confronted Priyanka about her February tweet after the abrogation of Article 370.
Priyanka responded: “So, I have many, many friends from Pakistan and I am from India, and war is not something that I am really fond of, but I am patriotic. So, I’m sorry if I hurt sentiments to people who do love me and have loved me, but I think that all of us have a sort of middle ground that we all have to walk, just like you probably do as well.”