ISLAMABAD: Munir Akram would replace Dr Maleeha Lodhi as Pakistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations, the foreign ministry said Monday in a statement.
Akram, who has previously served at the same post from 2002 to 2008, would be stationed at the UN’s New York headquarters. He specialises in multilateral diplomacy with considerable experience over the years at the UN’s New York and Geneva chapters.
Akram studied at Karachi University and graduated with a Masters degree in Political Science and a Bachelors in Law. He has ably defended and protected Pakistan’s vital interests and continues to play a leading role on other important issues on the UN’s regular and reform agenda.
The development comes merely a day after Prime Minister Imran Khan returned from the United States, where he addressed the UN General Assembly’s (UNGA) 74th session — termed successful and historic — and fought Kashmir’s case.
The Foreign Office gave no reason for Lodhi’s removal.
Lodhi also tweeted on her personal Twitter account about her plan to ‘move on’ after the United Nations General Assembly session, expressing gratitude over her tenure as the UN envoy from the country.
In another Twitter post, she said that she is humbled by the appreciation she received following the prime minister’s visit, wishing luck to her successor Akram.
In its statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) announced that PM Imran also made other new appointments apart of that of Ambassador Akram’s.
The MoFA’s current director-general for the UN, Khalil Ahmad Hashmi, was appointed as Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN in Geneva.
Three new ambassadors were also appointed. Muhammad Aejaz was promoted from MoFA’s Additional Secretary (AIT) to Pakistan’s Ambassador to Hungary, Syed Sajjad Haider was promoted from Pakistan’s Charge d’ Affaires for Pyongyang to Ambassador to Kuwait, and Ahsan K.K. Wagan was promoted from Pakistan’s Charge d’ Affaires for Niamey, Niger to Ambassador to Muscat, Oman.
Pakistan’s consul general in Toronto, Imran Ahmad Siddiqui, was posted as the country’s High Commissioner in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
On the other hand, three new appointments were also made.
Major General (retd) Muhammad Saad Khattak, Abdul Hamid, and Abrar Hussain Hashmi were appointed as Pakistan’s High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, Consul General in Toronto, Canada, and Consul General in Houston, United States, respectively.