Pakistan has called upon UNICEF to remove Indian actress Priyanka Chopra as goodwill ambassador, accusing her of supporting a nuclear war.

Pakistan’s human rights minister Dr Shireen Mazari lodged the official complaint in a letter to the UNICEF chief Henrietta Fore.

Dr Shireen Mazari – Pakistan’s human rights minister

Dr Mazari accused the 37-year-old actress and former Miss World of publicly endorsing the position of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Earlier this month, the Indian government revoked the partial autonomy of the Muslim-majority region and imposed an unprecedented security lockdown and communications blackout, saying it feared protests.

“Her jingoism and support for violations by the Modi government of international conventions and UN Security Council resolutions on Kashmir, as well as support for war, including a nuclear war, undermines the credibility of the UN position to which she been elevated,” Mazari said in the letter shared on her Twitter account on Wednesday. 

Chopra, who was appointed a UNICEF goodwill ambassador in 2010 and 2016, recently came under fire over a tweet she posted in February amid escalating tensions between India and Pakistan in the disputed Kashmir region.

Chopra had posted that tweet soon after Indian fighter jets crossed into Pakistani territory, conducting air raids that resulted in an escalation in hostilities between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

The Indian raids followed a suicide attack in the Indian-administered Kashmir town of Pulwama earlier that month. India blamed Pakistan for the February 14 suicide bombing, a charge the latter denied.

Priyanka Chopra had been confronted by Ayesha Malik

At a cosmetics event in Los Angeles earlier this month, Chopra was confronted by a US citizen of Pakistani origin in the audience, who called her a “hypocrite” for “encouraging nuclear war against Pakistan”.

Responding to Malik at the cosmetics event, Chopra said she was not fond of war but called herself “patriotic”.

India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars over the disputed territory of Kashmir, which both claim in full but administer separate portions of since gaining independence from the British in 1947.

A rebellion in Indian-administered Kashmir over the past 30 years has left tens of thousands of people dead.

India’s decision to revoke Article 370 of its constitution, which gave special rights to the Muslim-majority state, has worsened already fraught relations with Pakistan. 

In response to the move, Pakistan’s parliament decided to cut trade with India, downgrade diplomatic ties, and suspend bus and train services.

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