Pakistan’s UN envoy clarifies Pashtun remarks after drawing flak
Pashtun culture requires women to be kept at home: Pakistan’s Ambassador to UN Munir Akram had said
Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Munir Akram drew criticism for his remarks on the Pushtun culture.
On Friday Pakistan’s UN envoy issued a clarification that his comments were referring to a “peculiar perspective” of a small minority that has resulted in the restrictions on women.
Munir Akram made the comments at the humanitarian briefing on Afghanistan at the UN Headquarters in New York on Wednesday.
“The restrictions that have been put by the Afghan interim government, flow not so much from a religious perspective as from a peculiar cultural perspective of the Pashtun culture, which requires women to be kept at home,” he said at the UN briefing.
“And this is a peculiar, distinctive cultural reality of Afghanistan which has not changed for hundreds of years,” said Mr Ambassador.
Mr ambassador added that he regrets if his remarks were misunderstood or hurt anyone’s feelings.
“There was no disrespect meant to a Pushtun culture which is highly progressive and deserves full respect all across the world,” he added.
Pakistan’s UN envoy said that his reference was to the “peculiar perspective” of a small minority, resulting in restrictions on women, adding that the point made by him was that these “restrictions are not consistent with Islam and the Sharia – which provides all rights to women, including to work and education.”
His remarks made a day earlier drew severe criticism not just from Pakistan, but internationally.
Senior leader @a_siab of @NDM_Official called the remarks by Ambassador Munir Akram an insult to Pakhtuns and asked Ambassador Akram “if Pakistan represents the Taliban now”. https://t.co/MCqnSbFWNP— Khushal Khan (@Khushal_Khattak) February 3, 2023
Shame on Mr. Munir Akram @PakistanPR_UN for a false statement in the UN.— Javed Ahmad Kakar (@HM_Kakar) February 2, 2023
Look at this photo of a Pashtoon father, he was taking his daughters to school every day. pic.twitter.com/LRecxB8N9u
Cultures evolve Afghan/Pushtun culture has been impacted by war that Pak was a part of along with those where you sit. It’s different from Punjabi culture but it had lots of open spaces and not the kind that is being imagined by Munir Akram. He is the kind who beats women— Ayesha Siddiqa (@iamthedrifter) February 2, 2023
Not true, Munir Akram. Kabul university was one of the prestigious edu institutes for decades from where not just Afghan women but neighboring countries also got degrees. In Swat Valley ( also Pashtun culture ) we have girls schools since 1930s— Nazrana G Yousufzai 🦋 (@Nazranausufzai) February 2, 2023
Extremely embarrassing representation by @PakistanPR_UN. Ban on education of girls is not Pashtun culture, it’s Taliban culture that Pashtuns have fought against for decades.— Usama Khilji (@UsamaKhilji) February 2, 2023
Is this terrible racism state policy @ForeignOfficePk @BBhuttoZardari @HinaRKhar? pic.twitter.com/03bORVgid0
Sheher strongly condemns that a representative of the #pakistangovernment has categorized the ban on female education as a “cultural thing.” There is no culture in violating fundamental rights & depriving women of the road to progress.Quran says education for both men and women. https://t.co/UaD7LJz1Ww— She-her Pakistan (@Sheher_Pakistan) February 3, 2023