Munir Akram, A man who terms terrorism as ‘freedom struggle’ and Kashmir as ‘India’s Afghanistan’, a man who is infamous for his rude, Anti Indian remark and domestic violence case is now replacing Maleeha Lodhi as permanent member of Pakistan to UN.
Akram, who was Islamabad’s envoy at the UN from 2003 to 2008, had once called India ‘mother of terrorism’. He is not just another Pakistani diplomat. He is known to be outspoken, sometimes even rude and extremely anti-India.
He has also been labelled as a ‘diplo-basher’ by the US in an assault case. Akram is known for his strong language.
When India once charged Pakistan with cross-border terrorism, he had said Pakistan was engaged in Kashmir’s “Freedom Struggle”. Akram even accused India of being the “mother of terrorism”.
He is veteran diplomat and currently he is a columnist with Pakistan’s leading English daily Dawn which is known for publishing false rhetoric and stories on Kashmir and for its anti India appeal.
During the 58th General Assembly session in 2003, when then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had attended, Akram was harsh and rude and with utmost disgrace he has called out terrorism as freedom struggle.
Then Political Counsellor of India at New York HarshVardhan Shringla, now India’s Ambassador to the US, who had said Pakistan’s claim on combating terrorism was 1 per cent intention and 99 per cent pretension.
Akram had attacked Atal Bihari Vajpayee for rejecting then Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf’s action plan and said India was the “mother of terrorism”.
Even after these many years he has stopped spewing venom on India.
After the scrapping of Article 370 that granted a special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Akram wrote an article in Dawn on 18 August in which he called Kashmir “India’s Afghanistan”.
“India’s war in occupied Jammu & Kashmir is over 70 years long. It has been fought by an occupation force of 7,00,000, seven times the maximum number of troops deployed at any time by the Soviet Union or US-Nato in Afghanistan. The Kashmir war will end only when New Delhi realises that it cannot break the will of the Kashmiri people and that it is doing grievous damage to the Indian state. This future is visible now,” he wrote
His anti-India columns received much appreciation from the Pakistani Army, and one such article titled ‘The new Great Game’ received great praise by former Pakistani military spokesperson Asim Bajwa. Akram had once said “the most proximate impediment to India’s quest for Great Power status remains Pakistan”.
“So long as Pakistan does not accept India’s regional pre-eminence, other South Asian states will also resist Indian diktat. India cannot feel free to play a great global power role so long as it is strategically tied down in South Asia by Pakistan,” he wrote in a Dawn article in 2014.
On September 29, after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s speech at the UNGA where he spoke about a preemptive “bloodbath” in Kashmir once restrictions are lifted, Akram wrote an article in Dawn in which he referred to the speech as “impassioned, eloquent and substantive”.
“In contrast to Pakistani leaders of the last decade, whose presence at the UNGA was little noted and even less influential, Imran Khan was warmly acknowledged at every event he attended in New York and sought out by the leaders of UN member states, international organisations, global corporations and the mainstream media,” he said.
Akram had called former Indian foreign minister Salman Khurshid as “kiraika Muslim” (rented Muslim).
Always wearing an angry look on his face, as if he is going on a war, Akram had once called India the “sick man of Asia”.
In one incident, then Pakistani foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri admitted in his voluminous book, Neither A Hawk Nor A Dove, that during the annual UNGA session in 2005, President Musharraf and Kasuri were looking forward to meeting the then Indian PM Manmohan Singh and foreign minister Natwar Singh on the sidelines.
However, after Musharraf’s speech at the UNGA, the Indian side turned ice cold because of a speech delivered by Musharraf, who had a year ago spoken about extending an olive branch to India and even sit for a dialogue on Kashmir, and New Delhi had agreed to it.
Kasuri later admitted in his book that the speech was written by Akram, who was a rabid India-basher.
Akram is Accused of assaulting his live-in partner. In 2003, Akram got embroiled in a major controversy, leading to the US State Department asking Islamabad to take away his diplomatic immunity.
Akram’s reported live-in partner Marijana Mihic had made a distress call to police complaining that she was assaulted by him. But she changed her statement, when the police reached the couple’s “luxury townhouse”, and said she got injured after she fell down.
Owing to lack of evidence and Mihic’s refusal to press charges, no action was taken against Akram and he continued to remain Pakistan’s envoy to the UN until 2008.
By appointing such a rabid India basher as its permanent member to UN, Pakistan has sent out a clear message to the world, that it is a rogue terrorist nation armed with nuclear weapon. It doesn’t run the country for its countrymen. What it wants and will always continue to do is its Anti India stand and supporting the cross border terrorism.