Remove Priyanka Chopra as peace ambassador, Pakistani minister asks UNICEF

Priyanka Chopra attends the UNICEF 70th Anniversary event at the United Nations Headquarters in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., December 12, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
Updated 22 August 2019

Remove Priyanka Chopra as peace ambassador, Pakistani minister asks UNICEF

  • Indian actress under fire for tweeting in support of Indian army, backing war with Pakistan 
  • Pakistani-American influencer called Chopra a “hypocrite” in a viral clip 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s minister for human rights has written a letter to UNICEF calling for the removal of Indian actress Priyanka Chopra as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador for peace over her comments in support of the Indian armed forces and the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 
On August 5, the Indian government revoked Kashmir’s special status under which people from the rest of India could not buy the property or compete for government jobs and college places in the Muslim-majority region.
Modi’s ruling party had long sought an end to Kashmir’s autonomy, seeing it as appeasement of minorities and a barrier to its integration with the rest of the country.
Modi’s surprise move has also increased tensions with arch-rival Pakistan which lays claim to Kashmir and has accused India of human rights violations in the territory at the heart of more than 70 years of hostility between the two countries, both of whom have nuclear weapons. 
The move has stirred anger in the region and beyond but many Indian celebrities have openly backed their government. 
Earlier this month, a Pakistani-American woman accused Chopra at Beautycon, the cosmetic industry’s traveling trade show event, of being a “hypocrite” for tweeting in support of Indian security forces. The clip of the frosty exchange has since gone viral. 
Malik criticized Chopra over a February 26 tweet that read “Jai Hind” (“Long Live India”) and “#IndianArmedForces.”





Remove Priyanka Chopra as a peace ambassador, Pakistan’s minister for human rights, Dr. Shireen Mazari writes a letter to UNICEF (Photo Courtesy: Shireen Mazari Twitter account)

“Ms. Chopra has publicly endorsed [Modi’s] Indian government position and also supported the nuclear threat issued to Pakistan by the Indian Defense Minister,” Pakistan’s Mazari said in her letter to the UNICEF executive director. “Her jingoism and support for violations by the Modi government of international conventions and UNSC resolutions on Kashmir, as well as support for the war, including nuclear war, undermines the credibility of the UN position to which she has been elevated.”
Therefore, Mazari concluded, Chopra needed to be immediately removed as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador for peace: “Unless she is removed immediately, the very idea of a UN Goodwill Ambassador for Peace becomes a mockery globally. Therefore I would request that she be immediately denotified.”
“It was kind of hard hearing you talk about humanity because as your neighbor, a Pakistani, I know you’re a bit of a hypocrite,” the Pakistani-American influencer Ayesha Malik had said to Chopra at the Beautycon panel. “You’re a UNICEF ambassador for peace and you’re encouraging nuclear war against Pakistan. There’s no winner in this.”
While she was speaking, Malik’s microphone was taken away.
Chopra then asked if Malik was done “venting,” and responded that while she doesn’t support the war, she does support India.
“I have many, many friends from Pakistan, and I am from India, and war is not something that I’m really fond of but I am patriotic,” Chopra said. “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.”
The confrontation has drawn attention to both Chopra’s February tweet and the larger conflict between India and Pakistan, who have fought three wars over the disputed Kashmir region. 


Pakistani filmmakers release short film to show life under siege in Kashmir

Updated 38 min 24 sec ago

Pakistani filmmakers release short film to show life under siege in Kashmir

  • ‘Article 370’ is directed by Ibrahim Baloch and tells story of a Kashmiri woman who waits for her husband to return home after India imposes lockdown in disputed Kashmir
  • Article 370 of India’s constitution granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir, providing a semblance of autonomy to the region

KARACHI: Pakistani writer and film director, Ibrahim Baloch, is poised to release a short film on Wednesday about a married Kashmiri woman whose life is shattered after the administration in New Delhi abrogates Article 370 of the Indian constitution on August 5, 2019 and strips the disputed Kashmir region of its autonomy, putting the region under lockdown.

Talking to Arab News, Baloch said he wanted to release the film, ‘Article 370,’ on the first anniversary of India’s unilateral decision to integrate the internationally recognized disputed Himalayan territory with the rest of the country. 

Trailer of film, 'Article 370'

A poster of 'Article 370', a short film written and directed by Pakistani Ibrahim Baloch and released on August 5, 2020 to mark the one year anniversary of India stripping the autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir. (Photo courtesy: Ibrahim Baloch)

“I started following the situation in Kashmir after India announced its decision and realized that it was primarily debated from a political perspective,” he said on Tuesday. “I was more interested in the human side of the issue. So after doing some research, I came across stories of Kashmiri women in Srinagar who gave birth during the lockdown imposed by the Indian administration.” 

A poster of 'Article 370', a short film written and directed by Pakistani Ibrahim Baloch and released on August 5, 2020 to mark the one year anniversary of India stripping the autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir. (Courtesy: Ibrahim Baloch)

Article 370 of India’s constitution promised special status to Jammu and Kashmir, providing a semblance of autonomy to the region. However, India revoked the provision last year, giving Baloch the idea of working on a story on the only Muslim-majority region under India’s rule. 
Shot in the part of Kashmir administered by Pakistan and called Azad Kashmir, Article 370 focuses on the life of Gul-e-Rana, a married Kashmiri woman. 
Talking to Arab News, Mariyam Nafees, who played the lead role, said that she was deeply inspired by the story. 
“This film depicts the reality and current situation of Jammu and Kashmir,” she said. “The twenty-minute visuals in the movie that show the suffering of a family in the region are full of human emotions. Projects like these are not undertaken too often.” 
“Gul-e-Rana is a pregnant woman who goes through a tough situation while waiting for her husband during the lockdown,” Baloch said. “I am confident that this film will resonate with people across the world since it projects a human story. Our aim was not to take sides but to highlight the plight of the people by telling their tales passionately.”