Priyanka Chopra: Caught in the line of fire

Priyanka Chopra attends Beautycon Festival Los Angeles 2019 at Los Angeles Convention Center on August 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Getty Images)

Priyanka Chopra is once again in the limelight, but this time it’s for the wrong reasons. The actress has been under attack for a tweet supporting the Indian Armed Forces and has been accused of supporting war and making a mockery of her position as the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

In a tweet in February, the “Quantico” actress had congratulated the Indian Air Force after the Indian fighter jets attacked the Jaish-e-Mohammed’s terrorist camp at Balakot in Pakistan.

Adding to all the hullabaloo about the tweet at the an event in Los Angeles last month, Pakistan is now demanding that the desi girl be stripped of her UNICEF role, calling her reinforcement of the Indian government as insensitive, especially amid heightened tensions in the disputed Kashmir Valley.

In a letter addressed to UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore and posted online, Pakistan’s Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari asked for the 37-year-old former Miss World to be “immediately denotified” from her role.

Chopra was accused of “jingoism” and showing “support for war” by publicly endorsing the Indian government’s position on Kashmir, a disputed region. The issue was sparked late last month, when Ayesha Malik, a Pakistani-American called out Chopra for a tweet posted on Feb. 26, reading “Jai Hind #IndianArmed Forces,” calling her “hypocritical,” and accused her of “encouraging nuclear war against Pakistan.”

Malik later chastised the actress for “gaslighting” her and not giving an appropriate response. There was criticism on Twitter as well, with many saying that Chopra violated her role as a UNICEF spokesperson. But not everyone seems to be anti-Chopra.

While she has yet to respond, the Times of India has reported that according to a UN spokesperson, Chopra retains the right to speak in her personal capacity on issues concerning her.

Quoting Stephane Dujarric, the spokesperson for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the Times of India report said that Chopra’s personal views or actions do not necessarily reflect those of UNICEF. Some from the Bollywood fraternity have also supported her including her “Fashion” co-star Kangana Ranaut saying that Chopra chose her heart over her mind.

Actor Ayushmann Khurrana called her a global icon and lauded her representing India on the international stage. Where will this patriotism lead Chopra? Only time will tell.

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