UNITED NATIONS - Pakistan UN Ambassador Munir Akram, whom a former US top diplomat described as "smooth-as-silk", is leaving his post after six-years of service here. Akram, a competent and respected diplomat, while confirming that his assignment was coming to an end, told correspondents that the government of Pakistan has nominated Abdullah Hussain Haroon, a former speaker of the Sindh Assembly, as the next permanent representative. This, he said, has been conveyed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The "smooth-as-silk" tribute to Akram's diplomatic skills and finesse was paid by former US chief delegate John Bolton who spoke in his recently published book, "Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad."An expert at multilateral diplomacy, Akram was appointed as Pakistan's chief delegate at the UN in 2002 after serving as ambassador to the world body's European offices in Geneva for seven years. Diplomats at the UN said Ambassador Akram's departure from the UN will be noticed; both by his many friends and admirers as well as by those whose unequal ambitions were frustrated by his dominant presence. As the Russian Ambassador told FM Shah mehmood Qureshi during his recent visit to NY, "At the UN, you cannot ignore Ambassador Akram, if you want to". Under Ambassador Akram's leadership, diplomats and experts pointed out that the Pakistan delegation at the UN has acquired pervasive influence in virtually every UN body, even the Security Council where Akram represented Pakistan during 2003 and 2004. Despite the multiple problems faced by Pakistan and the Western media onslaught against it, no UN body has said anything critical about Pakistan. During his long term at the UN, Ambassador Akram occupied almost every important position. He was twice the President of the Security Council in May 2003 and again in May 2004; President of the Economic and Social Council in 2005; Chairman of the Group of 77 and China (developing countries) in 2007; Facilitator on UN Administrative Reform in 2006. For the last 12 months, he also chaired the Islamic Conference Group of Ambassadors in New York. It was pointed out that Ambassador Akram's single greatest service to Pakistan during his six years term has been to prevent the determined drive by the so-called G-4 - India, Japan, Germany and Brazil - to secure permanent membership for themselves on the Security Council. He was instrumental in creating a bloc" the Uniting for Consensus (UfC) " which frustrated India's ambitions for a permanent seat on the Security Council. A brilliant speaker and writer, he worked hard to promote and defend Pakistan's interests, especially its principled stand on the Kashmir dispute with India, Afghanistan, and terrorism. He has also staunchly defended the cause of the developing countries on international economic issues, advancing several initiatives and proposals; promoted the collective objectives of the Islamic countries, on such issues as Islamophobia and terrorism; and played a leading role on the multiple efforts underway to reform the intergovernmental and secretarial structures on UN reform. His principled positions are widely respected, even by adversaries, on such issues as Iraq and the Middle East. During his tenure, Pakistan has also emerged as biggest contributor of troops to UN peacekeeping operations.