Days after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan replaced Maleeha Lodhi as Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York with Munir Akram, Foreign Ministry of Pakistan has reacted to the development. Spokesperson of Foreign Ministry of Pakistan, Mohammad Faisal on Friday said that Maleeha Lodhi was not ‘removed’ from her post and she left after completing her tenure.
Taking to Twitter, Mohammad Faisal tweeted that there is no truth in the insinuations that Maleeha Lodhi was removed for any reasons. He said that she completed her tenure and as the FM of Pakistan said that she served Pakistan with distinction and commitment and organised Imran Khan’s successful visit to UNGA with skill and dedication.
There is no truth whatsoever in insinuations that Dr Maleeha Lodhi was ‘removed’ for any reason. She completed her tenure and as FM has said, she served Pakistan with distinction and commitment and organised the Prime Minister’s successful UNGA visit with skill and dedication.— Dr Mohammad Faisal (@ForeignOfficePk) October 4, 2019
However, it is known that Lodhi was removed two days after Imran Khan returned to Pakistan wrapping up his US visit, where he addressed the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. According to the reports, Imran Khan was disappointed with the results of his visit as he failed to internationalise the Kashmir issue on the global stage. Pakistan Prime Minister, in his UNGA address, exceed the time limit of 15 minutes and more than half of his speech was based on attacking India over the revocation of Article 370.
Maleeha Lodhi held the office of Pakistan's envoy to the UN since February 2015. Munir Akram had served as Pakistan's permanent representative to UN for six years between 2002 and 2008. Akram replaced Lodhi with a tarnished reputation though, with the office of the United States Secretary of State, in 2003, asking the Pakistan Government to withdraw his diplomatic immunity after he pushed the head of his then-girlfriend against a wall during a fight with her. He managed to continue his position until 2008. Akram is known for his loud and hard anti-India stand.
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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan also made other changes to Ambassadors to other countries. Khalil Ahmad Hashmi has been made appointed the Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations in Geneva. The Pakistan Government has shuffled ambassadors in Sri Lanka, Kuwait, Bangladesh, Oman, Hungary, Toronto and Hungary.