Maliha Lodhi

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Her Excellency
Maliha Lodhi News Photo 010619-D-9880W-061.jpg
Lodhi (center) with fellow statesman Abdul Sattar in 2001
Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations
Assumed office
6 February 2015
President Mamnoon Hussain
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
Preceded by Masood Khan
17th Pakistan Ambassador to the United States
In office
17 December 1999 – 4 August 2002
President Pervez Musharraf
Muhammad Rafiq Tarar
Preceded by Riaz Khokhar
Succeeded by Ashraf Qazi
In office
21 January 1994 – 30 January 1997
President Pervez Musharraf
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
Benazir Bhutto
Preceded by Syeda Abida Hussain
Succeeded by Riaz Khokhar
High Commissioner of Pakistan to the United Kingdom
In office
1 April 2003 – 14 June 2008
Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali
Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain
Shaukat Aziz
Preceded by Abdul Kader Jaffer
Succeeded by Wajid Shamsul Hasan
Personal details
Born Maliha Lodhi
Citizenship  Pakistan
Nationality Pakistani
Alma mater Quaid-i-Azam University
London School of Economics
Karachi Grammar School
Occupation Diplomat, military strategist, academician

Dr. Maleeha Lodhi, (Urdu: مليحه لودهى;HI, PhD), is a Pakistani political scientist, diplomat, columnist, and military strategist who served as the High Commissioner of Pakistan to the United Kingdom and prior to that, twice as the Pakistan Ambassador to the United States. [1] She currently serves as the Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, the first women to hold the position.[2]

She was the resident fellow at the Institute of Politics, John F. Kennedy School of Government at the Harvard University. She served as a member of the United Nations Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament from 2001 to 2005. In 1994, Lodhi was selected by Time magazine as one of a hundred people in the world who will help to shape the 21st century. [3]

In 2009 she was named an international scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Lodhi taught Politics and Political Sociology at the London School of Economics from 1980 to 1985 and was the editor of The News International. [4] Lodhi is also a member of the National Defence University’s Senate, and a member of the advisory council of the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.[5]

Early life and family[edit]

Lodhi was born in Lahore, Punjab, to an upper-middle-class family.[6] Her father was the chief executive of the British-based oil company and was the first head of a British company in Pakistan.[6] Her mother received a MA in journalism and was offered a scholarship to study in the United States after graduating, but gave up a career in journalism to become a homemaker and look after her children.[6] Lodhi has two siblings.[6] Lodhi was married to a banker in London, but they divorced after five years of marriage.[6] Together, they have a son named Faisal, who is now married.[6]

Lodhi first received her school education in Lahore and Rawalpindi, but moved to United Kingdom. She attended the London School of Economics in 1972 to study economics.[7] She received her BSc in Economics, with specializing in government finances in 1976, worked towards attaining PhD in political science, which she was awarded in 1980.[7] Her doctoral thesis was titled "Bhutto, the People's Pakistan Party and political development in Pakistan,1967–1977".


External video
Ambassador Lodhi talked about Pakistan’s role in the U.S. lead coalition in Afghanistan and combating global terrorism. She also responded to viewer comments and questions.

She taught for a short while at the Quaid-i-Azam University, in Islamabad and at the London School of Economics for five years (1980–1985). Lodhi returned to Pakistan in 1986 after martial law had been lifted. Her phones were tapped and she was followed anyway. She joined and edited the English language newspaper The Muslim (1987–1990). She became the founding editor of The News International (1990–1993 and 1997–1999) and also became the first woman in Asia to edit a national daily newspaper.[8]

Dr. Lodhi became the Pakistani Ambassador to the United States under two different administrations: from 1993–1996 and then during 1999–2002 (in the process becoming Pakistan's longest ever serving Ambassador to the US), before relinquishing her post on the completion of her second tour of duty. Since 2001, she has also served on the UN Secretary General's Advisory Board on Disarmament Affairs (2001–2005) and continued to do so while holding the post of Pakistan's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (2003–2008).

According to the Los Angeles Times, During a trip of three U.S. senators to Islamabad, Benazir Bhutto introduced Lodhi by saying "Meet Maleeha. She's my strongest critic." The same source claims that she is said to have brokered Bhutto's access to the late chief of army staff, Asif Nawaz, which helped pave the way for Bhutto's return to power in 1993.[9]

During her time as Pakistan's ambassador to the U.S she was present at the meeting on 12 September 2001, at the United States Department of State between Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and Lieutenant General Mahmud Ahmed, the head of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency. The meeting served as pivotal in Pakistan's role in War on Terror.[10]

A recipient of the 2002 Hilal-i-Imtiaz Presidential Award for Public Service, she is the author of two essay collections: Pakistan’s Encounter with Democracy and The External Challenge (Vanguard and Lahore Jang Publications, 1994). Her latest book, Pakistan: Beyond the Crisis State, was published in April 2011 (by C Hurst, Colombia University Press and Oxford University Press). In 1994, Time magazine cited Dr. Lodhi as one of 100 global pacesetters and leaders, who would define the 21st century and was the only person from Pakistan on that list.

We're struggling out here, but there is not enough knowledge. We're depicted sometimes as a rogue state, and that is not fair.

—Lodhi talking to Los Angeles Times on April 05, 1994, [11]

Ambassador to the United Nations[edit]

Lodhi addressing the United Nations Security Council

Lodhi made her debut address at the United Nations on 6 February 2015 where she called for 'addressing the underlying factors responsible for terrorism so as to formulate an effective and comprehensive response'.[12]

It took my country 67 years to send a woman to the United Nations, it takes a while, but eventually we get there.

—Lodhi talking to United Nations Population Fund Q&A on 11 Mar 2015, [13]

Addressing the Catalytic Partnerships for Gender Equality in Education event in United Nations on March 14, 2015, Lodhi said Pakistan has launched innovative schemes and pilot projects for girls’ education. Lodhi also said that the education voucher scheme launched in Punjab, as well as conditional grants that were given in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) have helped in promoting education in Pakistan.[14] She also hosted a lavish reception in honor of ambassadors and other prominent personalities at her residence.[15]

Lodhi while addressing the United Nations Security Council debate on the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan she said that “The new Afghan government has called for dialogue to resolve differences through political means. There are encouraging indications that the Taliban may be willing to negotiate with the National Unity Government,” Lodhi urged that “The Taliban will no doubt test the mettle of the Afghan National Security Force. It will need to demonstrate to them that a military solution is not possible,”.[16]


See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Syeda Abida Hussain
Pakistan Ambassador to the United States
January 1994 – January 1997
Succeeded by
Riaz Khokhar
Preceded by
Tariq Fatemi
2nd term
December 1999 – August 2002
Succeeded by
Ashraf Qazi
Preceded by
Abdul Kader Jaffer
Pakistan High Commissioner to the United Kingdom
April 2003 – June 2008
Succeeded by
Wajid Shamsul Hasan