ISLAMABAD: Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) will not revalidate residential visas of Pakistan’s diplomats in Tripoli, if Islamabad does not recognise the new administration soon, official sources told The Express Tribune.
The Pakistani charge d’affaires in Tripoli was summoned by the Libyan foreign ministry to inform him of the decision.
According to the NTC, Tripoli will not revalidate residential visas issued by former leader Col Muammar Qaddafi to the diplomats of all those countries, including Pakistan, that do not recognise the new Libyan authority as a legitimate representative of the people. However, despite a recommendation by the Pakistani foreign ministry in favour of NTC, the Pakistani government has decided to delay recognising the new Libyan administration, another official source told The Express Tribune.
The ministry was asked by its high-ups to “wait and see” the Libyan situation for another couple of days, the source said. “It has been decided by the top leaders not to recognise the rebel-led NTC till the absconding Libyan leader Col Qaddafi is holding the gun.”
(Read: Libya situation - Pakistan adopts wait-and-watch approach)
However, at the same time Islamabad also chose to ignore the Libyan ambassador’s decision to hoist the new flag of Libya in Islamabad without prior permission from the government.
According to the official source, although Pakistan has reservations against the hoisting of the new tri-coloured national flag of Libya in Islamabad, it will not initiate any proceedings against the envoy.
“Under diplomatic norms and rules, it was obligatory for the Libyan ambassador to obtain formal permission from Pakistan before hoisting a new flag at his embassy building,” the source said, adding: “It is violation of rules and procedures on the part of the Libyan ambassador as we have not recognised the new flag yet.”
The Qaddafi-appointed Libyan ambassador in Islamabad, who switched loyalties to the rebels last month, had formally requested Pakistan to recognise the NTC as the legitimate authority of his country.
So far, 75 countries have recognised the NTC, while Saudi Arabia, Iran, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Central Asian States and Pakistan are yet to follow suit.
Presidential spokesperson Farhatullah Babar told The Express Tribune that Pakistan will take its decision on the issue at an appropriate time. “We should keep in mind that many friendly countries of Pakistan and its neighbouring nations have not recognised the NTC-led administration in Tripoli, so far,” Babar said.
A former Pakistani ambassador, while supporting an immediate recognition of the NTC by Islamabad, said, “We should not have any sympathy for a dictator who caused the deaths of over 50,000 people within months to perpetuate his dictatorship.”
“It was the same Qaddafi who had caused serious damage to Pakistan by telling the US about Islamabad’s alleged support [to Libya] for manufacturing nuclear arms,” he told The Express Tribune requesting anonymity.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 15th, 2011.
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