Foreign policy: Despite US pressure, Islamabad backs Qaddafi

Published: July 25, 2011
Libyan leader’s envoy seeks to enlist Pakistan’s support. PHOTO: AFP/ FILE

Libyan leader’s envoy seeks to enlist Pakistan’s support. PHOTO: AFP/ FILE


While the US pressurises Pakistan to recognise the Libyan rebels-led Transitional International Council (TIC), the Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi is seeking Islamabad’s assistance to overcome the challenges his authority faces in Tripoli.

A senior official of the Libyan ministry of foreign affairs is due to arrive in Islamabad on July 27 with a special message from Qaddafi for President Asif Ali Zardari, a highly informed source told The Express Tribune. The special envoy will also meet Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar.

Islamabad backs Qaddafi

Tripoli has appreciated Islamabad’s position that the US-led armed intervention in Libya is beyond the UN mandate.

Islamabad has told Washington that it would only recognise a government in Libya that controls Tripoli.

Pakistan has so far refused to accord recognition to ‘a state-less Transitional International Council’ as the legitimate authority in Libya and maintains that it still considered Qaddafi’s government as the lawful regime in Tripoli.

Islamabad, however, has not yet nominated a new ambassador to Tripoli after it sent the last one, Jamil Ahmed Khan, to the UAE.

“We will appoint our new ambassador to Tripoli once the ongoing political turmoil is over in Libya,” a foreign office source said.

Most Muslim countries except Turkey, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait have so far refused to recognize the TIC as the legal authority of Libya.

Opposing foreign intervention

At a conference in Istanbul on July 15, Western nations threw their weight behind Libya’s rebels, recognising them as the government authority.

Pakistan refused to attend the conference despite having the secretary-general of the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) representing Muslim countries at the meeting.

“The secretary-general should not have attended the Istanbul conference,” said an official in the ministry of foreign affairs.

Pakistan has already expressed its serious reservations over the interpretation of the UN resolution over Libya which appears to have granted permission to US and its allies to carry out attacks on a sovereign country.

“No country should be divided, fractured or brought under attack merely in the name of restoration of democracy or protection of human rights,” a senior official of Pakistan’s foreign office said.

“Pakistan also rejects the formula of regime change with the intervention of foreign forces,” he said, adding that “Libya has its internal problems so it is up to its people to decide their fate.”

Pakistan joins Russia, China, Sweden and Holland in opposing aerial bombardment of Libya.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th,  2011.

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Reader Comments (17)

  • wasim younis
    Jul 25, 2011 - 11:56AM

    I just hope that this foreign policy works for Pakistan. On the other hand, America should not interfere on every issue. The Americans should also realize that Pakistan has national interest and should respect that.


  • eraj danish
    Jul 25, 2011 - 12:10PM

    We must built our relations with the alies of war against terrorism. It is vital that we do this to give coming generations a peaceful Pakistan.


  • Paras Vikmani
    Jul 25, 2011 - 1:39PM

    Qaddafi must go.
    I don’t understand why even India is hesitant to recognize the Libyan rebels.
    They have the mandate to serve the people of Libya and not Qaddafi.


  • waqas
    Jul 25, 2011 - 2:07PM

    well done pakistan for not being a puppet in this matter please be like this in so called war on terror which is a war against muslims only


  • syed Imran
    Jul 25, 2011 - 3:41PM

    The united States is trying to topple a legitimate government for reasons best known to them. They claim that Ghaddafi has lost the confidence of its people. If that be so why is it taking NATO combined with US so long to remove him. Factually Gaddafi has a sizeable support amongst his people thats why he is there despite the day in day out bombings by NATO.


  • pakpinoy
    Jul 25, 2011 - 4:14PM


    So I guess what you’re saying then is that most terrorists are Muslims?? It’s actually quite a simple formula –> if terrorism ceases to be carried out by those who claim a strong Islamic faith and identity, then over some time the world will stop considering most terrorists as Muslim.

    If not, then the perception won’t change, no matter how much you or anyone else tries to blame-shift or attack others for stating what is factually accurate.

    I would suggest humility and intellectual honesty as the best response. Most people respond favorably to humility, contriteness and personal responsibility. Some may judge me for the wrong actions of my brother, but if I respond with the above characteristics, few would blame me or assume that I am the same as he is.

    If I try to defend his bad behavior or crimes, then I appear to be just like him. Think about it.


  • shazada Malik-Loan
    Jul 25, 2011 - 4:46PM

    Although I must admit that Gadafi is tyrant and butcher, the Pakistani stance is correct one. The Zionist dominated America, with all the legislators being of Jewish origin, and Zioinst-inclined Western Europe it is imperative that we do not give them legitimacy. The bombing and regieme change is not what the UN mandate is about and the NATO couintries have gone beyond that should come in front of war crimes tribunal. Where is that Bak-e-Moon – the American lackey.Recommend

  • James Padgett
    Jul 25, 2011 - 5:43PM

    Congratulations Pakistan for not bowing to Three stooges – Obama, Sarkozy and Cameron – in their criminal, illegal and immoral intervention in Libya – which is motivated most of all for better positioning with Libyan oil. Many of us in the US are totally ashamed of our country’s criminal intervention and wish that Obama would be tried for war crimes (which won’t happen in a world that has a world court that is but a subservcient lackey to the West. Recommend

  • Yasar
    Jul 25, 2011 - 6:34PM

    Right move by pakistan. We should look at how Gaddafi was decieved by west. He informed on Pakistan for the west, but now them countires are bombing him. Dont trust anyone.


  • Nikos Retsos
    Jul 25, 2011 - 6:40PM

    I don’t think Pakistan really backs Qaddafi. If it did, it would have filled its empty ambassador post in Tripoli. But since Pakistan has been seen around the world as a state that serves the U.S. interests for U.S. aid, Pakistan is reluctant to support any U.S. military intervention around the globe – including Libya.

    Beside the phony facade of the U.S.- Pakistani alliance against terrorism, Pakistan and the U.S. are actually political adversaries. The principle: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” is therefore an indisputable fact in of the U.S. – Pakistani relations. Qaddafi, an enemy of the U.S., and Pakistan, a grudging and hostile – but needy- ally of the U.S., are therefore friends by default, not friends with similar ideals or Muslim brothers. Pakistan, therefore, cannot afford to be seen as supportive to all the U.S. military interventions, or to be seen as glued to the Libyan Transitional Council by U.S.

    I am sure Pakistan has written off Qaddafi as a future leader of Libya. But it will surely wait to embrace the (LTC) on its own terms when the civil war in Libya is over. And that LTC embrace will be as a brotherly and Muslim ally, not a a puppet of the U.S. Nikos Retsos, retired professor


  • Maulana Diesel
    Jul 25, 2011 - 8:11PM

    The NATO attacks in support of the Libyan rebels are just absolutely absurd. So in order to save the rebels they are killing the people of Tripoli. That is just crazy. Why can’t the Libyans sort out their own internal issues. This is going to be another Iraq.


  • Feroz K
    Jul 25, 2011 - 8:13PM

    @ Paras Vikmani

    India is not supporting the rebels for a good reason. Indian diplomacy believes in the idea of the Westphalian state and the notions of nation-state sovereignty as defined by the Treaty of Westphalia of 1648, which has governed international relations for the nearly 500 years. The Treaty of Westphalia created the idea of the nation-state, which was considered to be sovereign in the sense that it would have complete control over the policies in its territory and would be free from external influence and interventions.

    The United Nations was created in 1945 to uphold this idea and to offer collective security to nations and prevent other nation(s) from invading and undermining the sovereignty of nation-states as the experience of Japan and Germany in the 1930s showed and indirectly/directly contributed to the Second World War. The United Nations was created with the express purpose of upholding the sovereignty of nation states from external interventions in their domestic affairs.

    The United Nations resolution which authorized the use of force in Libya undermined the very idea of the Westphalian sovereignty and the idea of the United Nations itself and basically mooted nearly 500 years of diplomatic conventions, which held the primacy of the state as a sovereign entity. The United Nations’ resolution, authorizing the use of force in Libya, created a new precedent in international law that the United Nations can legalize military interventions in a country, where the government is prosecuting its own people and such an intervention would be de jure and legal.

    In specific case of India and why India is objecting to to it, it would be mean that a legal precedent has been established that DOES allow for foreign intervention in the domestic politics of India – the issue of Kashmir.

    India does not want the issue of Kashmir, which it considers as a bilateral issue between itself and Pakistan to become an international issue and therefore, is protesting against the United Nations’ resolution. For the same reason why Pakistan is opposing it; Pakistan does not want this resolution to be used as a potential endorsement for military intervention in Balochistan. India and Pakistan are on the same page on this issue because they feel that the United Nations was created to prevent external interventions in domestic politics of its member states and not authorize invasion of its member states on moral and humanitrian grounds.

    I hope this answer your question. :)


  • Incredible
    Jul 25, 2011 - 11:36PM

    “US pressurises Pakistan to recognise the Libyan rebels-led Transitional International Council (TIC)”. USA itself took time to recognise TIC then why should it ask a “failed state’ to lend support.


  • Khan
    Jul 26, 2011 - 12:22AM

    What has our establishment ever done correct that we would expect them to do that now … Why would one back a person who is not voted by their people … IF Qadafi has support why doesn’t he has election after every few year … Who gave him the right to be self proclaimed leader of that country. He is no different than those millions of Libyans who live there. If he thinks his rule is legitimate then he must go and get elected by its own people but he will never do that as he is a criminal, a tyrant and a brutal dictator. I really hope he meets the same fate like Saddam so that the people of Libya are free to rule its own country.


  • Oks
    Jul 26, 2011 - 12:31AM

    Well done! Hope the leaders from other countries such as, for example, Russia and China will also go this way too. Thre rebels in Libya are just NATO mercenaries, nothing more, Recognising them foreign governments give Libya to the greedy western wolves.


  • Cautious
    Jul 26, 2011 - 4:31AM

    This article reads like something written by the Pakistan/Libyan foreign services dept. The USA isn’t going to put pressure on Pakistan over this issue. Further – the USA hasn’t led the charge on Libya and has acted largely in a support role for it’s European allies – the USA was one of the last countries to acknowledge the rebels – as was Turkey.Recommend

  • Jul 27, 2011 - 5:45PM

    Poor Gemmy is making up for its lost contribution in the early stages … I feel bad for them … they are just jumping in the fry pan they were not in earlier.

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