Ayesha Malik, the Pakistani woman who confronted Priyanka Chopra Jonas about allegedly encouraging India-Pakistan nuclear war at a beauty event in Los Angeles and labelled her a ‘hypocrite’, claims she was “extremely disappointed” at the UN ambassador and global star’s response to her question.
“She had so many months to read up on this. I actually believed there was a part of her that would say something correct,” said Malik in an interview with Gulf News tabloid!.
She likened Chopra Jonas, a former Miss World, to beauty pageant contestants with the propensity to say “empty words” and “fluff responses”.
“But deep down, she doesn’t believe any of it... This time her PR team was not in her ear... What we got was raw, unfiltered Priyanka,” said Malik.
While Chopra Jonas coolly dismissed her criticism with a mixture of studied smugness and sweetness, Malik claims she always held the ‘Quantico’ star to a higher standard of conduct and ideal.
Malik, 28, who runs a car dealership company in Alaska and is an Instagram influencer with more than 95,000 followers, claims she had no intention to take on Chopra Jonas at the beauty event.
But hearing her speak about loving her neighbours and accepting other cultures at that panel discussion underlined her duplicity, claims Malik. On February 26, Chopra Jonas had tweeted ‘Jai Hind’, a slogan loosely translated as Hail India, with the hashtag #IndianArmy alluding to Indian fighter jets bombing militant training camp in Pakistan. The tweet had evoked polarising reactions with several calling out Chopra Jonas for encouraging war.
“What sparked me to say was that after she tweeted Jai Hind on February 26, there was radio silence from her… All the Bollywood actors were saying Jai Hind too. The thing between her and other Bollywood actors is that Priyanka is international, she is Mrs Jonas, she is more than just a Bollywood actress. Therefore, I was more frustrated with her than the other Bollywood actors,” said Malik.
In a video chronicling their heated exchange, Chopra Jonas swatted her comments aside, asked Malik not to yell and said that she’s not fond of war but is patriotic.
Chopra Jonas also said that she has many Pakistani friends and is only trying to walk the middle path.
“It’s like here in America when you say something racist and then you go ‘I have black friends, so hey I am not racist’. That’s exactly what she did,” said Malik, who believes that Chopra Jonas tuned her out long before she could complete her thoughts.
“I had no intention of hearing her talk. As of February, I have been upset about her comment on nuclear war. I was just walking by to another booth when I heard her say that we should love our neighbours and embrace other cultures... The audience were not of South Asian descent and wasn’t aware of what her stances were,” said Malik.
Since her exchange with Chopra Jonas, her Twitter following — on a page that she mainly maintains for her close friends — has jumped from 600 to 18,000 followers.
Her YouTube channel, on which she has uploaded a few videos on hair and beauty, has also seen a jump in followers.
“I had no intention to do this. If I truly had the intention, I would have been more eloquent. My question came from my heart and was filled with emotions. It wasn’t scripted,” said Malik.
She wasn’t allowed to complete her sentence and admits that her tone was loud, but her message wasn’t something to be dismissed.
Chopra has not further commented on the exchange, limiting herself to her response at the event.