Actor Ayushmann Khurrana is the latest celebrity to defend Priyanka Chopra after a woman heckled the actress at an event in Los Angeles earlier this month over her "Jai Hind" tweet, which the former Quantico star posted in February following the airstrikes by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in Balakot.
During a media interaction on the sidelines of an event in Mumbai, Khurrana insisted Chopra, also a UN Goodwill Ambassador, is an international icon who knows how to do her job well.
“Priyanka Chopra is representing our country very well. She is not an Indian icon, but a global icon. Being a daughter of an army officer she is a good representative of India,” Khurrana said.
A controversy sparked earlier this month when a social media activist of Pakistan origin, Ayesha Malik, had called Chopra out for being a "hypocrite" as she had tweeted in favour of the Indian army after the Balakot airstrikes.
"It was kind of hard hearing you talk about humanity, because as your neighbour, a Pakistani, I know you are a bit of a hypocrite, because you tweeted on February 26, 'Jai Hind. #IndianArmedForces' You are a UNICEF ambassador for peace and you are encouraging nuclear war against Pakistan."
To this Chopra had replied, “Whenever you're done venting... Done? Okay, cool. War is not something I'm really fond of but I am patriotic, so I'm sorry if I hurt sentiments of 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. Just like you probably do as well. The way that you came at me right now... girl, don't yell. We're all here for love.”
Petitions for her removal as the UN Goodwill Ambassador also emerged online. Pakistan’s Human Rights Minister, Shireen Mazari, later wrote to the UNICEF on the same saying, “Ms Chopra has publicly endorsed Indian government position on Kashmir and also supported the nuclear threat... All this goes completely against the principles of peace and goodwill that Ms Chopra is supposed to uphold as an UN Goodwill Ambassador for Peace.”
However, a spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has dismissed Pakistan's criticism of Chopra, saying, the ambassadors "retain the right to speak in their personal capacity on issues that concern them."
Chopra has also found support from actress Kangana Ranaut and veteran lyricist Javed Akhtar.
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