Ambassador Clarifies Remarks ‘Against’ Pashtun Culture

A day after facing criticism for his comments on Pashtun culture, Pakistan’s UN Ambassador, Munir Akram, issued a clarification.

At a United Nations humanitarian conference on Afghanistan in New York, the ambassador pointed out that a “peculiar perspective” held by a small minority has resulted in restrictions on women. He emphasized that these restrictions are not based on religious beliefs, but rather on Afghanistan’s long-standing cultural practices.

Ambassador Akram expressed regret for any confusion caused by his statements and made clear that he had no intention of disrespcting the highly progressive Pashtun culture.

He explained that he was referring to the distinctive views of a minority and that the limitations on women are contrary to Islam and Sharia, which guarantee women the right to work and education.

Pakistan has conveyed its objections to these restrictions to the Afghan provisional government, consistent with its policy.

The diplomat also called on the international community to work with the Afghan government to abolish the restrictions that are hindering the livelihoods of the country’s disadvantaged population.