Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi will leave New York to take up an important role in Islamabad after successfully completing her term.Both on substantive policy issues and in promoting Pakistan’s soft image, Ambassador Lodhi made a mark. This not only earned her frequent appreciation from the Secretary General of the UN but also made her one of the most high-profile figures at the world body.
The four years she served in one of the country’s top diplomatic posts were both eventful and significant in giving Pakistan a higher and more positive profile at the world’s most important multilateral organisation.She pulled no punches in advocating the Kashmir cause, using every platform and forum to remind the UN and the international community about the grim situation in occupied Kashmir and the need for a peaceful solution in line with long standing Security Council resolutions. She had the distinction of ensuring a meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss Kashmir in August in the wake of India’s illegal annexation of occupied Jammu and Kashmir. This was the first time the SC took up the dispute in over 50 years.
Apart from that, exhibitions were also stage at the UN of contemporary art, Pakistan’s peacekeeping role and Pakistani women who made history among other topics. Lodhi also took the lead in organising meetings of women ambassadors, who have emerged as an influential cross regional group. With female ambassadors from the Muslim world she organised the very first celebration of Eid, which UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres attended and addressed.
Ambassador Lodhi also organised the first visit to Pakistan of the President of the General Assembly in almost 8 years in which Maria Fernanda Espinosa received detailed briefings on Kashmir and other issues and a chance to hear about the Imran Khan government’s priorities.