ISLAMABAD    -   Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dr Maleeha Lodhi was not removed for any “reason” and she was replaced after completing her tenure, the foreign ministry said yesterday.

In a tweet, Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammed Faisal said: “There is no truth whatsoever in insinuations that Dr Maleeha Lodhi was removed for any reason.

She completed her tenure and as FM (Shah Mehmood Qureshi) has said, she served Pakistan with distinction and commitment and organised the Prime Minister’s (Imran Khan) successful UNGA visit with skill and dedication.”

This week, Prime Minister Imran Khan replaced Dr Maleeha Lodhi with Ambassador Munir Akram as Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations in New York.

“Ambassador Munir Akram has been appointed as Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations in New York, in place of Dr Maleeha Lodhi,” a foreign ministry statement said shortly after PM Khan returned home after addressing the UNFA session.

Reports said leakage of a letter to India written by United Nations to Pakistan about Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Mohammed Saeed was a major reason behind removal of Dr Maleeha Lodhi.

The letter started circulating in WhatsApp groups of journalists in New York when Prime Minister Imran Khan was present in the United States to address the UN General Assembly.

Reports also claimed that Dr Lodhi’s son had married an Indian girl whose family has strong relations with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi which did not go down well with the government.

Last month, the UN Security Council allowed Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Mohammed Saeed to use his frozen bank accounts for personal expenses.

Hafiz Saeed’s assets had been frozen after the UNSC sanctioned him under Resolution 1267 for alleged links with the Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.

Hafiz Saeed’s bank accounts were frozen by the Pakistan government complying with the UNSC resolution.

Pakistan had forwarded a request the UN to let Hafiz Saeed withdraw Rs 150,000 (approximately $1,000) per month to cover necessary basic living expenses for him and his family.