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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Dr. Maleeha Lodhi Controversy: Was she Sacked by Imran Khan?

Pakistan’s former Permanent Representative to the UN was not sacked, FO has clarified. But the clarification came a little late. Why did it happen? 

Pakistan’s Foreign Office in what is a belated clarification has made it clear that Dr. Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations, was not sacked. Dr. Muhammad Faisal, in a tweet, clarified that the matter. “There is no truth whatsoever in insinuations that Dr. Lodhi was ‘removed’ for any reason,” Dr. Faisal said.

Earlier there were some speculations as if Dr. Lodhi was sacked by Premier Khan for some undisclosed reasons. Some people associated her sacking with the Premier’s visit to the UNGA.

Quoting Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, the spokesman said the outgoing envoy “served Pakistan with distinction and commitment and organized 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. In these years, she has been vocal and committed to highlighting brutalities being committed by the Indian armed forces in Indian-Occupied Kashmir. She may be remembered for her upright and clear position on the issue of Kashmir and her efforts to internationalize it.

Moreover, Dr. Lodhi had soon after the announcement of the name of her successor said that she had “planned to move on after the UN General Assembly”.

In a reply to Dr. Shirin Mazari, Dr. Lodhi said she is looking forward to serve the country in a different capacity.

She also replied to Senator Sherry Rehman and said:

She was Pakistan’s first female Permanent Representative at the UN and now returns to the country to take up an important assignment. She has been vocal on the issue of Kashmir and Palestine. She spoke up with bravery and grace and helped Pakistan strengthen her position at the highest international forum. Dr. Lodhi has always been of the view that “this was her greatest professional challenge, being Pakistan’s ambassador to the world at a time of profound global flux and multiple foreign policy challenges for Pakistan”

She also had to face criticism after her son allegedly married an India girl. Several quarters raised questions on her patriotism and demanded the government to sack her. She remained graceful and dignified amidst criticism from her professional rivals which made her distinguished.

Read more: Dr. Maleeha Lodhi completes her long diplomatic inning with distinction!

Later on, Pakistan’s ambassador to the US, Asad Majeed had to issue a clarification on the matter. “It has now become incumbent upon us to give the other side of the story to clarify what is being propagated through social media virally. Maleeha Lodhi’s son is around 40 and already married. The pictures are of the wedding of Ahmed Rasheed (Taliban expert)’s son, his bride too is a Muslim not Hindu,” the ambassador said, adding “suddenly Maleeha Lodhi has become a target to defame her. Her photos are being shared about her links with India.”