Pakistan PM Imran Khan removes Maleeha Lodhi, appoints Munir Akram as UN official

Imran Khan at UNGA
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan at UNGA

United Nations, Oct 1 Upset with the Maleeha Lodhi, who failed to make headway in his Kashmir campaign at the General Assembly’s high-level meeting, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday replaced country’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Maleeha Lodhi, with Munir Akram.

PM Imran Khan is not happy with the outcome of his visit from United Nations General Assembly where he tried to internationalise the Kashmir issue. Khan’s address to the global audience was replete with rhetoric, focusing on Kashmir alone. Khan said that when curfew from Kashmir will be lifted, there will be a “bloodbath”.

Akram was involved in an alleged domestic violence incident in 2002 just as Pakistan was taking its place on Security Council as an elected member and the US asked his country to lift his diplomatic immunity so he could be prosecuted.

But he managed to stay on till 2008.

Despite Maleeha Lodhi’s campaign at the UN and Khan’s intense diplomatic activity, only three countries, China, Malaysia and Turkey, joined Pakistan in raising the Kashmir issue – which meant they did not have any influence on the other 189 countries in the 193-member UN.

Khan acknowledged the failure, saying when he returned home, “Whether the world stands with Kashmiris or not, Pakistan is standing by them.”

She tweeted after Monday’s announcement of her removal, “I had planned to move on after UNGA following a successful visit by the PM.”

Lodhi has previously served twice as ambassador to the US, the second time covering the crucial period of the 9/11 al-Qaeda attacks on the US and the US-led action in Afghanistan in which Pakistan became involved as a logistics provider.

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