Maleeha Lodhi Pakistan UN representative
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Prime Minister Imran Khan and Maleeha Lodhi.Twitter

Pakistan on Monday removed Maleeha Lodhi and appointed Munir Akram as its permanent representative to the United Nations. 

"Ambassador Munir Akram has been appointed as the Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations in New York, in place of Dr Maleeha Lodhi," the Foreign Office stated. 

While no official statement regarding the reasons behind the reshuffle of the official post was made, the statement revealed that Akram would be stationed at the UN headquarters in New York. 

Akram had previously served as Pakistan's permanent representative to the UN from 2002 to 2008. However, he was dismissed by former president Asif Ali Zardari over a disagreement in presenting Benazir Bhutto's assassination case to the United Nations.

With a specialisation in multilateral diplomacy, Akram's qualification includes a Masters degree in Political Science and a Bachelors in Law along with past experience at the UN offices, both in New York and Geneva.

Pakistan's decision to remove Maleeha Lodhi was surprising as she was reportedly praised by officials for successfully managing Prime Minister Imran Khan's New York visit. However, she is reported to have tense relations with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and has close ties with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

Local media reports have claimed that Akram's appointment indicates Pakistan's intentions of "launching a diplomatic offensive" against India regarding the Kashmir issue. He is known for having a hard stance against India.

Apart from Lodhi and Akram's reappointment, Khalil Ahmad Hashmi, who is serving as Director General (UN) at Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), was appointed as Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the UN in Geneva.

Apart from these, Additional Secretary (AIT) Muhammad Aejaz from MoFA appointment as Ambassador of Pakistan to Hungary and Charge d' Affaires (ap) in Pyongyang Syed Sajjad Haider was posted as Ambassador of Pakistan to Kuwait.

Consul General in Toronto Imran Ahmad Siddiqui was appointed as the Dhaka High Commissioner; Ahsan KK Wagan, serving as Charge d' Affaires in Niamey, as Ambassador of Oman; and Major General Muhammad Saad Khattak as Sri Lankan High Commissioner.

Abdul Hamid was posted as Consul General in Toronto and Abrar Hussain Hashmi as Consul General in Houston.