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Muneer Akram, Pakistan’s ambassador to the UN, on Saturday clarified his controversial remarks about Pakhtun culture following strong backlash from Pakhtuns and human rights activists in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Following strong criticism from Ambassador Akram, he clarified that he was not targeting anyone and that his statement had been misunderstood.
Mr. Akram said in response to the questions of a news media, “he apologizes if his words were misunderstood or hurt someone’s feelings. There was no disrespect to the Pashtun culture, which is very advanced and deserves full respect around the world.”
Mr. Akram made the controversial remarks during a briefing at the UN in New York on Wednesday, where the ambassador attributed the Taliban government’s restrictions on women to Pakhtun culture.
He stated that “the restrictions imposed by the interim government of Afghanistan are not more from a religious point of view, but from a cultural point of view specific to the Pashtun culture, which requires that women be kept at home. And this is a specific cultural reality of Afghanistan, which has not changed for hundreds of years.”
The spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Islamabad has searched for the details of the ambassador’s statement and the context in which it may have been said.