Bollywood actress and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Priyanka Chopra was under severe criticism for a tweet cheering the Indian armed forces. At a time when Pakistan sought her removal as the Goodwill Ambassador, the United Nations spokesperson said that she retains the right to speak in her personal capacity on issues concerning her.

When UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors "speak in their personal capacity, they retain the right to speak about issues that interest or concern them," Stephane Dujarric, the spokesperson for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said at his daily briefing on Thursday (August 22) in answer to a question about Priyanka.

He further added, "Their personal views or actions do not necessarily reflect those of UNICEF. When they speak on behalf of the UNICEF, we expect them to adhere to UNICEF's evidence-based impartial positions."

Speaking about the role of a Goodwill Ambassador, he said: "The UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors are prominent individuals who have agreed to generously volunteer their time and their public profile to promote children's rights."

Priyanka was at the receiving end of criticism after she cheered for the Indian Army on February 26. She had tweeted, "Jai Hind #IndianArmedForces," followed by emojis of the Indian flag and namaste.

Soon after, online petitions calling for her ouster from the ambassadorship were launched and even gathered thousands of signatures.

Pakistan's human rights minister Shireen Mazari wrote this week to UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore demanding Priyanka's removal as a Goodwill Ambassador accusing her of "jingoism and support" for the Indian armed forces.

Mazari alleged that Priyanka showed "support for war, including a nuclear war," even though the actress and 2000 Miss World has not said anything beyond the tweet made in the aftermath of the car bomb attack by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed that killed more than 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel.