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Pakistan’s new permanent representative at UN was once accused of domestic violence

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New Delhi, Oct 01: Pakistan would be replacing its permanent representative to the United Nations. It has been decided that Maleeha Lodhi would be replaced with Munir Akram, who it may be recalled was dramatically recalled by Pakistan in 2003.

Akram was recalled in 2003 after he was reported for domestic violence. He is alleged to have beaten up his live-in partner Marijana Mihic.

An accused in the past:

An accused in the past:

It may be recalled that the US State Department had asked Pakistan to withdraw Akram's diplomatic immunity. The New York City prosecutors had sought to bring assault charges against him. The matter was, however, settled out of court and Pakistan call him back.

The development came merely a day after Prime Minister Imran Khan returned from the US, where he raised the Kashmir issue in his maiden address to the UN General Assembly last week.

Munir Akram appointed:

Munir Akram appointed:

"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 said in a statement. However, it gave no reason for her removal.

In his speech that went on for about 50 minutes, far exceeding the 15-minute limit for UN speeches during the General Debate, Khan devoted half of his address to the Kashmir issue, warning that if there's a face-off between two nuclear-armed neighbours, the consequences would be far beyond their borders.

War rhetoric:

War rhetoric:

His war rhetoric was in sharp contrast to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's peace message from the same podium a few minutes earlier in which he said India is a country, that has "given the world, not war, but Buddha's message of peace."

Pakistan has been trying to internationalise the Kashmir issue after India withdrew the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, but New Delhi has asserted the abrogation of Article 370 was its "internal matter".

The Foreign Office statement said Akram would be stationed at the UN's New York headquarters.

An experienced hand says Pak

An experienced hand says Pak

He is an experienced hand who served as the Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the UN from 2002 to 2008.

He was dismissed by the then president Asif Ali Zardari over his disagreement in presenting the case of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto to the United Nations.

Akram specialises in multilateral diplomacy with considerable experience over the years at the UN's New York and Geneva chapters. He studied at the Karachi University and graduated with a Masters degree in Political Science and a Bachelors in Law, the statement said.

(With PTI inputs)

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