Pakistan’s UN ambassador Munir Akram issued a clarification a day after garnering criticism for his remarks regarding Pushtun culture, stating that his comments were in reference to a “peculiar perspective” of a small minority that has resulted in women’s limitations.
The ambassador made the statements during a humanitarian briefing on Afghanistan at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Wednesday.
At UN Briefing he stated:
“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.”
Ambassador Akram said:
“And this is a peculiar, distinctive cultural reality of Afghanistan which has not changed for hundreds of years.”
The ambassador expressed a sincere apology that his statements were wrongly interpreted or hurt anyone.
He further Explained:
“There was no disrespect meant to Pushtun culture which is highly progressive and deserves full respect all across the world.”
“Restrictions are not consistent with Islam and Shariah– which provides all rights to women, including to work and education.”
He highlighted that Pakistan has reminded the Afghan interim administration of its policy opposition to restrictions on women.
The Taliban-led country badly requires humanitarian assistance if its poor population is to survive.
He also urged the international community to engage with the Afghan government and slowly persuade it to lift these restrictions.