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UNICEF responds to Pak Minister; says “Priyanka Chopra can have her own views”

United Nations | Bollywood Superstar Priyanka Chopra has landed herself in controversy ever since a Pakistani woman confronted her at an event for promoting “nuclear war”.

“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 Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said at his daily briefing on Thursday in answer to a question about Chopra.

“Their personal views or actions do not necessarily reflect those of UNICEF,” he added.

But, he said, “When they speak on behalf of the UNICEF, we expect them to adhere to UNICEF’s evidence-based impartial positions.”

“The UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors are prominent individuals who have agreed to generously volunteer their time and their public profile to promote children’s rights”, he said, speaking about their roles.

Pak Minister demands the removal of Priyanka Chopra as Goodwill ambassador

Pakistan’s Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari had written a letter to UNICEF urging them to remove Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra as their goodwill ambassador.

“Ms Chopra has publicly endorsed Indian government position on Kashmir and also supported the nuclear threat issued to Pakistan by the Indian Defence Minister. All this goes completely against the principles of peace and goodwill that Ms Chopra is supposed to uphold as an UN Goodwill Ambassador for Peace, (sic)” Mazari wrote in the letter.

In the letter, she has accused the Modi government of ethnic cleansing.

“The entire policy of the BJP government is similar to the Nazi doctrine of ethnic cleansing, racism, fascism and genocide”, she wrote, writing about the Kashmir issue.

“Ms Chopra has publicly endorsed this Indian government position and also supported the nuclear threat issued to Pakistan by the Indian Defence Minister”, the letter reads.

She wrote that all of this is completely “against” the principles of peace and goodwill that she is supposed to embody.

“Her jingoism and support for violations by the Modi government of international conventions and UNSC resolutions on Kashmir, as well as support for war, including a nuclear war, undermines the credibility of the UN position to which she has been elevated. Unless she is removed immediately, the very idea of a Goodwill Ambassador for Peace becomes a mockery globally”, it reads.

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