If there were any doubts of just how disastrous Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to the US was, they have been laid to rest as the Imran Khan-led government replaced its Permanent Envoy to UN, Dr Maleeha Lodhi, with an even more controversial Munir Akram, after a series of embarrassing gaffes. Imran Khan’s visit to the USA would perhaps go down as downright one of the most desperate and embarrassing trips by any head of state which was earlier held by Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau as he was given the cold shoulder by the Modi government upon the his visit to India.
Maleeha Lodhi and Imran Khan acted in unison as they left no stone unturned to humiliate Pakistan at the UNGA and unsurprisingly, the former has been made a scapegoat of the entire episode.
Pakistan desperately tried and failed in its anti-India campaign with no one except the likes of China, Turkey, Malaysia and The New York Times willing to pay heed to its nefarious agenda. While Prime Minister Modi’s visit emanated class and statesmanship throughout his visit, Imran Khan behaved like a baby who couldn’t stop whining and went on a rant against India for over 50 minutes without even paying heed to the time limit at the UNGA. His speech was largely derided as he yet again threatened the world with a nuclear war and questions were asked as to just how could he have been allowed to give such a deplorable speech at the largest international forum?
Maleeha Lodhi has had her fair share of controversies and has regularly showcased her glaring ineptitude and arrogance. Most recently, Lodhi received Imran Khan at the Kennedy Airport in New York in what was nothing more than a ‘red doormat’ welcome, turning the Pakistani establishment into the butt of jokes. Later, as Imran Khan met UK PM Boris Johnson, she hilariously addressed Johnson as the Foreign Minister of UK – a position previously held by him. Perhaps, Lodhi was too busy enjoying the peace in the US on taxpayers money and didn’t bother about being updated about geopolitics. Maleeha Lodhi has time and again, furthered India’s cause and her actions have resulted in some serious embarrassment for Pakistan as in 2017, she falsely claimed a picture of an injured teenage girl as a victim of the Indian Army’s aggression in Kashmir. The picture was actually of a Palestinian girl injured in a conflict between Gaza and Israel. Even the Pakistani media for a change sought to question the actions of Lodhi and labelled it as a ‘criminal faux pas’. She was again heckled in the US by a Pakistani national as he sought to ask Lodhi of what exactly has Pakistan achieved in the UN for the past 20 years and went on to label her as a ‘thief’.
Maleeha Lodhi eventually dug her career’s own grave with a series of gaffes and her hotheaded nature and arrogance made her a liability to Pakistan, but speaking of liabilities, Imran Khan is indeed only a disaster and embarrassment that Maleeha Lodhi could not conceal to the world, and for that she has come to pay.
While the citizens of Pakistan might have heaved a sigh of relief as Maleeha Lodhi was fired from her position, her replacement, Munir Akram, who has been called out of retirement, is no better. Munir Akram had earlier served as Pakistan’s Permanent Envoy to the UN was mired in controversy during his stint and Pakistan had to call him back briefly in 2003.
Pakistan’s new pick for its ambassador to the UN, Munir Akram was earlier, reported for a domestic violence incident in which he beat up his live-in partner Marijana Mihic. The situation became so serious that the US State Department asked Pakistan to withdraw his diplomatic immunity after New York City prosecutors sought to bring misdemeanour assault charges against him. Munir Akram is known for his toxic commentary against India.
The case was settled out of court and has long been brushed under the carpet as Imran Khan attempts to send Munir Akram to the UN. Perhaps, Akram’s background sits perfectly well with the ideology of Imran Khan and his misogynist Pakistan government where crimes against women are commonplace with Imran Khan tactfully backing those who are involved in human trafficking, kidnapping and forced conversions.
It seems that Lodhi who has been in the US through several regimes has finally bit the dust and made the scapegoat for yet another disastrous trip by Imran Khan which was full of theatrics and war-mongering. The visit was laden with gaffes and there was a point when it seemed Lodhi and Khan were in a face-off on who can humiliate Pakistan more on a global platform and it seems that Imran Khan has won this battle for now as Akram is waiting in the wings to further damage Pakistan’s image.