Forging new alliances: Pakistan to recognise rebel-led Libyan govt

Published: September 8, 2011
A car with the rebel flag at the main gate of the embassy in Islamabad on August 25, 2011. PHOTO: AFP

A car with the rebel flag at the main gate of the embassy in Islamabad on August 25, 2011. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: After weeks of avoiding a stance on the Libyan situation, Pakistan is finally gearing up to officially recognise the National Transitional Council (NTC) as the sole representative of the Libyan people.

The decision comes after the Libyan mission in Islamabad hoisted the rebel flag on August 25, without proper authorisation, followed by a switch of loyalties from the Qaddafi-appointed ambassador in Islamabad, The Express Tribune learnt. An official announcement by the Pakistani ministry of foreign affairs is expected soon, the source added.

(Read: Libya situation – Pakistan adopts wait-and-watch approach)

“Pakistan is with the people of Libya,” the source said while explaining Islamabad’s policy on the Libyan crisis.

On August 25, the Libyan envoy in Islamabad, Ibrahim al Ebad, removed the green coloured flag, associated with the Qaddafi regime, and hoisted the de facto flag of Libya, used by the National Transitional Council at the Libyan embassy in Islamabad. According to official sources, however, the Libyan ambassador hoisted the new flag without the prior approval of the Pakistani government.

“It was mandatory for the Libyan ambassador to obtain prior permission from Islamabad to hoist the new flag of his country,” an official told The Express Tribune while requesting anonymity.

Furthermore, Ebad informed the foreign ministry about his decision to recognise the NTC as the only ‘true and legitimate authority in Libya’ and them to follow suit. The ambassador also confirmed that his fellow Libyan diplomats in Islamabad have disassociated themselves from the Qaddafi administration and pledged their loyalties to the NTC.

(Read: Voices from Libya)

Over 75 countries, including Russia, have recognised the NTC as the sole representative of the Libyan people. However, Libyan ambassadors and diplomats in India and Turkey have split up into pro and anti-Qaddafi camps.

Al Ebad and other Libyan diplomats had been active in seeking Pakistan’s support for Colonel Muammar Qaddafi until August 21, however after the fall of Tripoli at the hands of the rebels, they decided to dump the embattled Libyan leader in a state of haste, another official said on the condition of anonymity. There was also a sense of fear among Libyan diplomats that Pakistan might hand them over to the United States, as Qaddafi loyalists, after the NTC established its authority in Libya, the source added.

The Pakistani diplomatic mission in Tripoli, in a recent report, said that the NTC controls 95 per cent of the country, while Qaddafi loyalists were holding their control over the remaining 5 per cent. The report added that a majority of the 140 tribes representing Libyans had also recognised the NTC.

Furthermore, most of Libya’s African neighbours, except Algeria, have recognised the NTC. Iran and Saudi Arabia have not recognised the NTC as of yet but the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) had accorded recognition to the new administration of Tripoli.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 8th,  2011.


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Reader Comments (21)

  • Sep 8, 2011 - 5:16AM

    About time!! Still to late! So much for being a “leader” in the Muslim world!


  • Sep 8, 2011 - 6:00AM

    Will the disgraceful name of Qaddafi stadium be changed now ?


  • Arzoo
    Sep 8, 2011 - 7:20AM

    “Pakistan is with the people of Libya,” the source said while explaining Islamabad’s policy on the Libyan crisis.

    What a lie! Pakistan is not even with its’ own people, how could it be with the people of Libya. If Pakistan was with the people of Libya, Pakistan should have said something months ago to that old hag Qaddhafi to treat the Libyans with respect and humanity and not as “rats” as he called them. No, after Qaddhafi has disappeared in the dustbin of history has Pakistan belatedly chosen to give signs of recognizing the new government.

    Also, would Pakistan be with the People of Syria by asking this inhumane Bashar who was killing his own people even in the holy month of Ramadan to be judicious and try to settle the issues through dialog and not through the guns??????

    And stop sending mercenaries to Bahrain. Pakistanis are being sent to Bahrain to serve in the Army to put down the protest movement by Bahrainis with full approval of Pakistan’s Government while the Pakistani public sleeps ignorant of what is done in their name by their Government.


  • Sep 8, 2011 - 7:23AM

    @Bangash: Wholly agreed! Give it back its original name of’Fortress Stadium.’ Salams.


  • Sep 8, 2011 - 7:27AM

    Just wait; when Pakistani Embassy falls into the National Transitional
    Council hands. There are documents relating to the Weapons of Mass
    Destruction technology transfer. The U.K.US NATO forces are yet to
    lay their hands on them.Then will you realize why Libya is so important
    to the West.Pakistan troika establishment is rather slow in responses.
    Taravadu Taranga Trust for Media Monitoring TTTMM India
    –Kulamarva Balakrishna


  • Ikram
    Sep 8, 2011 - 7:30AM

    Rename Qaddafi Stadium first.


  • Sep 8, 2011 - 7:36AM

    Mr. Gaddafi! You must realize that your time is fast coming to an end and let it not end on a ‘hangman’s noose.’

    Mr. Gaddafi! No point in resisting like a buttress or a wall. To quote: “Prudence is the better part of valor.” It is time you handed yourself in like the man you claim to be and go down as a martyr. Salams to the brave Libyan nation.


  • sanity
    Sep 8, 2011 - 7:48AM

    After USA and the rest of the West forged alliance with new Libyan government, it was wise of Pakistan to do so.


  • Sep 8, 2011 - 8:59AM

    Pakistan will recognize Al-Qaeda terrorists? Sickening.

    Monster Abdel Hakim Belhadj, aka Abdel Hakim al-Hasadi, Friend of Osama Bin Laden, former US POW, and Infamous Killer of US Soldiers in Afghanistan is leading the rebels.

    According to the London Daily Telegraph of March 26, Darna (also transliterated as Derna or Darnah), a key city in the rebel heartland between Benghazi in Tobruk, is commanded by al-Hasidi, an al Qaeda terrorist controller who trained and hobnobbed with Osama bin Laden at the Khost terrorist training camp in Afghanistan. Hasidi boasts of having sent 25 fighters to fight US and NATO forces in Afghanistan; one wonders how many they managed to kill. Hasidi was a US prisoner of war after being captured by the Pakistanis, but tells the Wall Street Journal of April 2 that he now hates the US only “less than 50%” hinting that Americans can redeem themselves by appeasing Al Qaeda with arms, money, political power, and diplomatic support. At his side in the city leadership is Sufian bin Kumu, Osama bin Laden’s chauffeur, another terrorist who was an inmate at Guantánamo Bay for six years. Also among the Darna city fathers is al-Barrani, a devoted member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which merged with Al Qaeda in 2007.


  • kazi jawed akhter
    Sep 8, 2011 - 11:21AM

    Is it good to play bag pipes on departure of Col Qaddafi?So called rebels played in the hands of foreigners.Who defeated Qaddafi?Merely local rebels.No.It were the Nato sorties of fighters, missiles,heavy ammunition provided by foreigners to locals.
    Mind it, it can happen to any other weak,muslim country not fullfilling the desires of westren powers.If anybody remebers the words of Anwaaar us sadat after 1973 Ramzan war.He said,”I can fight with Israel but not with USA.”What happened in Pakistan during so called movement of PNA after 1977 elections.


  • Zafar
    Sep 8, 2011 - 11:33AM

    Pakistan must rename the places first that were engraved in the honor of Kaddafi. Why in the world only Muslims are the dumbest of all? They lack wisdom and inability to foresee. The freedom fighters or rebellions or whatever have no idea of the reasons behind the support that they are receiving freely. They can’t predict that its cost will be paid by their children and the coming generations. Who wouldn’t object the policies of Americans but the most important thing for the Muslims is to accept their own failures by admitting their successes in implementing its foreign policies. Undoubtedly they use a little bit of common sense which people in the east fail to recognize. Alas …


  • Sep 8, 2011 - 11:39AM

    After USA and the rest of the West forged alliance with new Libyan government, it was wise of Pakistan to do so.


  • Sep 8, 2011 - 11:43AM

    @Kulamarva Balakrishna: What is tickling and scratching you where it should not? Why are you so much against Pakistan, huh?


  • Vaqar (United Kingdom)
    Sep 8, 2011 - 12:02PM


    Would be nice if you used real names. On the matter of names, I am all for renaming Qaddafi Stadium, but please, please get your facts right. Qaddagi Stadium was “Lahore Stadium” till 1974 and is situated miles away from Fortress Stadium, which by the way is still known by the same name and has nothing to do with cricket!


    Sep 8, 2011 - 12:32PM

    200% agree to your every word


  • thundapani
    Sep 8, 2011 - 1:11PM

    @Kulamarva Balakrishna:
    You sound pretty paranoid. Go easy on the skunk.


  • Mark Twirtschaftzer
    Sep 8, 2011 - 2:54PM

    I am a Professor at Columbia Law School ; Pakistan’s stance towards recognizing the Libyan Rebels denotes ; positivism. It had to happen considering that Qaddafi was the formulator of moronic policies that lead to the downfall of Pakistan, Russia, Syria, N. Korea, and of course, Libya.

    Well done Pakistan. However, the hoisted flag MUST have been pre-approved before it could hoist on the mercs in the rather peaceful capital of the world – Islamabad


  • sashayub
    Sep 8, 2011 - 3:05PM

    …this is a repeat of how Pakistan recognised the Taliban government of Afghanistan, shameful and irresponsible indeed….without a proper mandate and without any legality, how can the NTC be recognised as a government of Libya and the Libyan people? Why can’t Pakistan wait for an election or at least some other internal process legitimising the NTC? is there no self-integrity and sovereign thought left in Pakistan, that it just feels the need to follow instructions received from USA, UK and France?


  • Sep 8, 2011 - 3:26PM

    Well it’d be pretty silly of Pakistan to not say they recognize them at this point considering that anyone saying they don’t won’t be receiving anything but negative criticism. But, as it has been said, it’s a little bit delayed for it to sound anything more than empty and government routine. Similar to how they (almost every government) usually make statements condemning or supporting actions just for it to be on the public record when they aren’t really involved much at all.


  • Sep 10, 2011 - 6:04PM

    @Mark Twirtschaftzer:
    Give my regards to Zbigniew Brzezinski when he drops by at Columbia.


  • Sohail
    Sep 12, 2011 - 7:21AM

    Its funny that the new Libyan flag is same as Pakistani ruling party i.e. Pakistan People’s Party. So for embassy it was quite easy to get flag and host …..


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