Pakistan to follow KSA on Libyan rebels

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan will consult the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia before extending de-jure recognition to new National Transitional Council of Libya, Foreign Office officials told this correspondent here Thursday. Foreign Office officials said, Government of Pakistan is monitoring the situation closely. According to these officials Pakistan will take a decision at multilateral forums before having consultative round with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other traditional Middle East allies. Pakistans decision to recognise new 'government in Tripoli came after Libyan rebels or members of Libyan National Transitional Council took over Libyan Embassy in Islamabad last month. Libyan ambassador in Islamabad hoisted new flag of Libya at the embassy building on August 25 this year. According to Foreign Office, Pakistan will respect the aspirations of the people of Libya. On August 25, the Libyan envoy in Islamabad, Ibrahim al Ebad, removed the green flag, associated with the Gaddafi 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 said Libyan envoy to Pakistan 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 Gaddafi administration and pledged their loyalties to the NTC. 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-Gaddafi camps. Al Ebad and other Libyan diplomats had been active in seeking Pakistans support for Colonel Muammar Gaddafi 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 condition of anonymity. There was also a sense of fear among Libyan diplomats that Pakistan might hand them over to the United States, as Gaddafi loyalists, after the NTC established its authority in Libya, the source added. The Pakistani diplomatic mission in Tripoli, in a recent report, said the NTC controls 95 per cent of the country, while Gaddafi 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 Libyas African neighbours, except Algeria, have recognised the NTC. Iran and Saudi Arabia have not recognised the NTC as yet but the Organisation of the Islamic Countries (OIC) had accorded recognition to the new administration of Tripoli.

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