Outgoing UN envoy not sacked, says FO

Updated October 05, 2019

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Foreign Ministry Spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal credits Dr Maleeha Lodhi for PM’s successful participation in UNGA session. — AFP
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal credits Dr Maleeha Lodhi for PM’s successful participation in UNGA session. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office has credited Dr Maleeha Lodhi, outgoing Permanent Representative at the United Nations in New York, for Prime Minister Imran Khan’s successful participation in the recent UN General Assembly session and denied that she has been sacked.

Foreign Office spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal tweeted on Friday that Dr Lodhi had “completed her tenure”.

The FO spokesman’s tweet came in response to the ongoing speculation about the reasons behind the change of the envoy in New York. Days after Prime Minister Khan’s return from the UNGA session, Dr Lodhi was replaced by Ambassador Munir Akram at the Pakistan mission at the UN headquarters. The change was part of a larger reshuffle in which a number of envoys were moved.

Spokesman credits Dr Maleeha Lodhi for PM’s successful participation in UNGA session

“There is no truth whatsoever in insinuations that Dr Lodhi was ‘removed’ for any reason,” Dr Faisal said.

Quoting Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, the spokesman said the outgoing envoy “served Pakistan with distinction and commitment and organised the prime minister’s successful UNGA visit with skill and dedication”.

Dr Lodhi served as ambassador to the UN for nearly four-and-a-half years.

She too had soon after the announcement of the name of her successor said that she had “planned to move on after the UN General Assembly”.

Published in Dawn, October 5th, 2019