Women’s rights group moves HC for removal of Pak ambassador to UN

ISLAMABAD: Women Action Forum (WAF, a women’s rights organization in Pakistan, has moved the Sindh high court for the removal of the country’s ambassador to the United Nations, Munir Akram, terming his re-appointment “illegal, unlawful and liable to be struck down”.
Akram had replaced Dr Maleeha Lodhi shortly after prime minister Imran Khan’s anti-India campaign at the UN General Assembly and other forums during his visit to the US in September. Akram had previously served on the same post from 2002 to 2008.
WAF had on Thursday filed a petition in the high court, mentioning allegations of domestic abuse against the diplomat that had made headlines in international media. In 2003, Washington had asked Pakistan to waive Akram’s diplomatic immunity so that he could be prosecuted under American law on assault charges after allegations that he had beaten a woman at his New York residence in December 2002.
Claiming that Akram’s appointment by the government and the ministry of foreign affairs was “illegal, unlawful and void ab initio (not legally binding”, the petition called upon the court to restrain him “from performing functions of the ambassador/permanent representative of Pakistan to the UN”.
“In light of the accusation of domestic violence, it is requested of the honourable court to reflect on the impression this creates in the global environment, and also the impression made of the standards of behaviour reflective of official representatives,” read the petition.
WAF’s petition called upon the court to direct Akram to show on what authority he claims to hold the office of the permanent representative of Pakistan to the UN.
The women’s rights organisation urged the high court to declare that Akram’s appointment letter was illegal and issued without lawful authority. It requested the court to permanently restrain Akram as the permanent representative of Pakistan to the UN.