Recently, Priyanka Chopra shared a tweet celebrating the Indian Armed Forces. Following this, at BeautyCon, held in LA, she was accused of supporting a nuclear war by a Pakistan woman named Ayesha Malik.
“It was kind of hard, hearing you talk about humanity because as your neighbour, a Pakistani, I know you’re a bit of a hypocrite. You are a UNICEF ambassador for peace and you’re encouraging nuclear war against Pakistan, there’s no winner in this. As a Pakistani, millions of people like me have supported you in your business,” said Ayesha.
To which, Priyanka responded by saying, “I hear you, whenever you’re done venting. Done? Done? Okay, cool. I have many, many friends from Pakistan, and I am from India. War is not something that I’m really fond of, but I am patriotic, so...I’m sorry if I’ve hurt sentiments, to people who do love me and have loved me. But I think all of us have a sort of middle ground that we all have to walk, just like you probably do as well.”
Online petitions calling for Priyanka’s removal from the UNICEF ambassadorship were launched and have gathered thousands of signatures. Pakistan's Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari wrote to the UNICEF, asking for Priyanka’s removal and accusing her of "jingoism and support" for the Indian armed forces.
Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres of the UN, has released the following statement in response to the controversy:
"When UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors speak in their personal capacity, they retain the right to speak about issues that interest or concern them," stated Stephane. "Their personal views or actions do not necessarily reflect those of UNICEF," he added. Her further stated, “The UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors are prominent individuals who have agreed to generously volunteer their time and their public profile to promote children's rights. When they speak on behalf of theUNICEF, we expect them to adhere to UNICEF's evidence-based impartial positions."
Many celebrities such as Ayushmann Khurrana and Kangana Ranaut have also spoken out in support of Priyanka.