It is the duty of our official international representatives, as the global faces of our country, to be very careful about their conduct and their choice of words. Like it or not, their words and manners are the first impression that the world gets about Pakistan. In a remarkable display of lack of any self-awareness, our ambassador to the UN Munir Akram claimed that the Afghan Taliban’s denial of women’s education was rooted in Pashtun culture. While he has apologized for his statement, the damage has already been done.
These thoughtless remarks will only affirm the worst opinions about our country and its people. Hopefully, our foreign ministry and diplomatic corps will take this issue seriously and reprimand Akram accordingly. There needs to be a clear message that the state will not tolerate its representatives abroad spouting off such incendiary, untrue, insulting and unnecessary remarks.