Despite the regime overthrow and the democratisation of Libya, relations between Libya and Pakistan are as good as they were before the political developments in the country. Libya is undergoing a reconstruction phase and needs more support from friendly states. It needs economic, political and military assistance for strengthening the defence of its territory. During these challenging times, Pakistan should not leave Libya unaided.
If one looks at the past, Pakistan always had good relations with Libya. Even during King Idris’s time in the 1950s, Pakistan provided economic and technical assistance to the country. Pakistan also provided help and training to the Libyan air force and navy. After the revolution there, new prospects for the enhancement of Pakistan-Libya relations have emerged, as the weakened Libyan forces need to take into consideration new security challenges. The Libyan government intends to re-establish the Libyan National Army to preserve Libyan sovereignty. Pakistan can assist Libya in training its army. The Libyan security forces are facing similar security challenges to the ones Pakistan has been facing of late. Pakistani forces can train Libya’s officers and soldiers for particular purposes to counter unrest in that country.
Pakistan’s foreign policy priorities include helping all its brotherly Muslim countries in times of crisis and support them through diplomatic, as well as tangible means. Pakistan does not have a policy of interference in internal matters of Libya or any other country; rather, its main objective is to provide sufficient assistance in security and economic sectors. The challenges that both countries face provide a good opportunity for cooperation between them. They can support each other at the diplomatic level, as well as in different areas of the economy and security.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 11th, 2014.