UNITED NATIONS — Mukhtar Mai, the Pakistani woman whose defiant response to being gang-raped by order of a tribal court brought her worldwide attention, was denied a chance to speak at the United Nations on Friday after Pakistan protested that it was the same day the country's prime minister was visiting.

Mai had long been scheduled to make an appearance called "An Interview With Mukhtar Mai: The Bravest Woman on Earth" in the U.N. television studios, sponsored by the office for nongovernmental organizations, the Virtue Foundation and the Asian-American Network Against Abuse of Human Rights.

But on Thursday night the organizers were informed that the program would have to be postponed because of Pakistan's objections.

Mai is leaving New York on Saturday so the effect was to cancel her appearance.

Asked at a news conference why Pakistan had taken the action, the prime minister, Shaukat Aziz, said: "I have no idea. You have informed me and so have some other people as I was walking in. I don't know how the place functions."

In 2002, a village council sentenced Mai to be gang-raped for the supposed misconduct of her brother. Pakistani women in such circumstances often commit suicide, but Mai instead successfully challenged her rapists in court. She gave the compensation money she received to schools in her remote district.

On a previous visit to New York in November, Mai, also known as Mukhtaran Bibi, was hailed in a video tribute by Laura Bush at a Lincoln Center banquet as a person who "proves that one woman really can change the world."

Aziz is scheduled to see President Bush in Washington next week.

Asked why the United Nations bowed to the Pakistani protest, Shashi Tharoor, the undersecretary-general for communications, said he could not comment on this specific case. But, he said: "As a general principle, indeed there are written instructions guiding the holding of any event on U.N. premises in which we are obliged to take into account views formally expressed by member states. This is a building and an organization that belongs to the member states."

In an interview, Mai said: "I feel disappointed. I was not going to say anything bad about Pakistan. I was just going to talk about my work and what people are doing."