Better late than never: Pakistan recognises new Libya regime

Published: November 3, 2011

PPP govt had been reluctant to do so due to longstanding ties with Qaddafi. PHOTO: FILE

PPP govt had been reluctant to do so due to longstanding ties with Qaddafi.
 PHOTO: FILE Foreign office spokesperson says the two countries had maintained longstanding ties which will be further promoted. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

ISLAMABAD: After months of indecision, the government of Pakistan formally recognised Libya’s new government, the National Transitional Council (NTC), on Thursday in the wake Colonel Muammar Qaddafi’s death.

“We recognise both the state and the government of Libya as instituted by the NTC and are working with the government of Libya,” said foreign ministry spokesperson Tehmina Janjua here on Thursday at her weekly briefing.

Islamabad accorded the formal recognition to the new Libyan government just days after Qaddafi was killed by Nato-backed rebels, marking the end of the autocrat’s 42 years in power.

Initially, the government of Pakistan had been reluctant to recognise the NTC due to reservations over Nato’s participation in the removal of the Qaddafi regime, coupled with the fact that Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has had longstanding ties with the Libyan strongman.

Furthermore, even after the fall of Tripoli, the government wanted to wait on any decision on formal recognition due to the fluidity of the situation. However, with the death of Qaddafi, the government of Pakistan was left with no other option but to formally recognise the new Libyan government.

Last month, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani had indicated that Pakistan would soon recognise the new government in Libya. More recently, the main opposition party, PML-N, also warned the government that over 50,000 Pakistani expatriates would be at risk if there was further delay in recognising the NTC.

The Libyan Embassy in Islamabad, however, had signalled its shift in loyalties much before Pakistan’s formal recognition. On August 25, the Libyan Embassy raised the new NTC flag above its compound in Islamabad.

MFN status

In reply to a question about the uncertainty surrounding whether Pakistan had granted the most-favoured nation (MFN) status to India, the foreign ministry spokesperson said the cabinet had unanimously decided in principle to grant MFN status to India.

“Both sides will have to work together in further engagements by the commerce secretaries,” she added.

Istanbul conference

Speaking about the conference held in Istanbul on Afghanistan’s future, the foreign ministry spokesperson said Pakistan had fully endorsed the Istanbul Declaration, signed by two dozen countries and representatives of the United Nations, to ensure a smooth security and economic transition in Afghanistan.

The Istanbul conference adopted a broad-ranging document with principles and confidence-building measures which constitute an expression of solidarity and support for Afghanistan, she pointed out.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 4th, 2011. 

Reader Comments (12)

  • Word Life
    Nov 3, 2011 - 6:50PM

    Is it me or there are a lot of PPP flags in libya :)

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  • Hedgefunder
    Nov 3, 2011 - 7:09PM

    It certainly took long time for the Land of Pure to acknowledge and recognise the new regime in Libya ! not very smart !!! I also suggest that they change the Cricket stadium’s name in Lahore ASAP, as that would not please the new Libyan Rulers too !!!!!
    Some foreign policy makers this country has !!!!

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  • JJ
    Nov 3, 2011 - 7:15PM

    GOOD MOVE.

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  • amjad
    Nov 3, 2011 - 8:01PM

    It shows how Pakistani leadership lags the forthsight and vision. It should have recognized TNC long time ago. It also need to take a lead role along with Turkey to put pressure on Bashar of Syria to stop murdering its own people. Syrian regime is a gang of brutal thugs, it does not deserve any diplomatic niceties.

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  • Nadir
    Nov 3, 2011 - 8:11PM

    Pakistan’s relationship should be with states, not individuals, holding out for Gaddafi was a poor choice. Our relationship should be with the Libyan people.

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  • antanu g
    Nov 3, 2011 - 8:21PM

    @amjad:
    not only pakistan but several other nations have not recognized new libyan govt. why u people have much inferiority complex?

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  • Hamid
    Nov 3, 2011 - 8:30PM

    I hope there is democracy.

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  • cautious
    Nov 3, 2011 - 9:02PM

    The delayed response combined with retaining the name of Gaddafi on your stadium will impact future relations with Libya.

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  • Bangladeshi
    Nov 4, 2011 - 12:04AM

    @cautious: If libya becomes an islamic repulblic & respects Islamic laws & principles in the constitution then I don’t think that they will have any problems with PAK or any other muslim countries, It all depends on how quickly the new leaders can (if possible) kick out nato and safe guard their resources from being plundered.

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  • Cautious
    Nov 4, 2011 - 4:47AM

    @Bangladeshi — using your logic all Muslim countries should all get along (they don’t) and Iran would not be considered a pariah by the Arabs. I would argue that Libya isn’t going to appreciate those countries that supported Gaddafi during their revolution and will be offended if you keep the name Gaddafi on your stadium – and that’s regardless of what type of constitution they implement.

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  • MarkH
    Nov 4, 2011 - 6:43AM

    @Bangladeshi:
    The people in Libya have actually pointed out they were paying attention to the length of time it took for countries to recognize them and it was going to effect relation preferences. Whatever their view is of NATO, it’s definitely higher than anyone coming into it late. It’s pretty common for people to be partial to those who are around during hard times and those that decide merely by convenience. They owe a lot to NATO. While NATO may not repeatedly bring it up shamelessly because it’s just… A sign of unflattering priorities and simply a low thing to do. There are still going to be many who welcome them whether or not you’re of the “we refuse to believe you don’t dislike us, because we discriminate against the rest of the planet and that, of course, means everyone else must do the same” Muslims or the rational ones.

    People who supported them while they were risking their lives or people who have a stadium dedicated to the man that hate more than anyone in the world… If for some reason needing to choose, that would be such a hard choice. They’ll outright reject you before alienating NATO like you want them to.

    I have no idea why you guys insist on believing the world is out to get you, think you’re inferior and refuse to hear anything to the contrary. It’s like you hate yourselves more than you hate everyone else. It’s a little sad.

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  • ahmed
    Nov 9, 2011 - 9:52AM

    new is not good i hate new libya. ALLAH O MAUMAR O LIBYA O BIS. GOLLI GOLLI LIL JAZEERA QAEADNA MANIBSH GAIRA.

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