Priyanka Chopra
Actress Priyanka ChopraGetty Images

Priyanka Chopra, who was recently asked to be removed from the position of UNICEF's Goodwill Ambassador, for her 'patriotic' support towards the Indian Army, was supported by the United Nations on Thursday, August 23, in a statement that stated she had the right to speak in her personal capacity on issues concerning her.

Responding to the row concerning the 37-year-old actress, Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for United Nations Secretary-General, said, "UN ambassadors speak in their personal capacity, they retain the right to speak about issues that interest or concern them."

He further added that their personal views or actions do not necessarily reflect those of UNICEF.

However, he advised that while they represent the UN body, it is expected that the chosen influencer adheres to UNICEF's "evidence-based impartial positions."

The former Miss World who was appointed as the goodwill ambassador in 2016 was criticised over her tweet hailing the Balakot airstrike amid escalating tensions between India and Pakistan. She made headlines after a US citizen of Pakistani origin, Ayesha Malik condemned her views and accused her of supporting a war between two nuclear-armed countries.

Human Rights Minister of Pakistan, Shireen Mazari, wrote a letter to the UN on Wednesday demanding her removal from the influencing post over claims of Chopra's "jingoism and support for violations" despite being an advocate of peace.

The actress was severely criticised for her "patriotic" response to Malik's question and had apologised for hurting sentiments and reasoned that her stance was due to "middle ground that we all have to walk."

However, despite the criticism, Chopra has received support from netizens including those from the entertainment industry. Actor Ayushmann Khurrana, Kangana Ranaut, Anupria Goenka and lyricist Javed Akhtar have extended their support to her.