Munir Akram replaces Maleeha Lodhi as Pakistan’s permanent rep at UN

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By Muhammad Luqman

In a big reshuffle in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved the appointment of ambassador Munir Akram as Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, the Foreign Office announced on Monday.

Akram is replacing Dr Maleeha Lodhi, who has held the office of Pakistan’s envoy to the UN since February 2015.

Akram has previously served as Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN as well, holding the office for six years between 2002 and 2008.

The reshuffle has been made just days after  what many believe successful visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to the United Nations.

The appointment of Akram, who previously served as Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, also indicates that Pakistan is going to launch a diplomatic offensive on Kashmir and against India. Akram is a veteran diplomat and is one of the ambassadors who believe in hardcore approach towards India instead of appeasement.

The removal of Lodhi and appointment of Akram was part of many other transfers and postings approved by the prime minister in the foreign ministry.

A statement issued by the Foreign Office on Monday said Akram had been appointed as Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the UN in place of Lodhi. No reason was given for the change.

In other appointments, Muhammad Aejaz, Additional Secretary (AIT) at MoFA has been appointed as Ambassador of Pakistan to Hungary, Syed Sajjad Haider, presently serving as Charge d’ Affaires (ap) of Pakistan to Pyongyang has been posted as Ambassador of Pakistan to Kuwait; Khalil Ahmad Hashmi, presently serving as Director General (UN) at MoFA has been appointed as Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the UN in Geneva.

Imran Ahmad Siddiqui, presently serving as Consul General of Pakistan Toronto has been posted as High Commissioner of Pakistan forBangladesh; Ahsan KK Wagan, presently serving as Charge d’ Affaires (ap) in Niger has been appointed as Ambassador of Pakistan to Oman.

Major General ® Muhammad Saad Khattak has been appointed as the High Commissioner of Pakistan to Sri Lanka while Abdul Hamid has been appointed as Pakistan’s Consul General in Toronto.

Abrar Hussain Hashmi has been appointed as Pakistan’s Consul General in Houston, according to the Foreign Office statement.

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