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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.



Saman Siddiqui

Saman Siddiqui, A freelance journalist with a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication and MS in Peace and Conflict Studies. Associated with the media industry since 2006. Experience in various capacities including Program Host, Researcher, News Producer, Documentary Making, Voice Over, Content Writing Copy Editing, and Blogging, and currently associated with OyeYeah since 2018, working as an Editor.

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