Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Pakistan criticises intervention in Libya

ISLAMABAD News: Three days after the US-led coalition launched air strikes on Libya to enforce a UN-mandated no-fly zone, Pakistan issued on Monday a veiled disapproval of the biggest military intervention in Arab world since Iraq war and said it was concerned over the developments.

But that came after the US indicated that it would reduce its military role over the next few days.

The belated criticism of the military intervention looked a safe bet for the cautious Foreign Office following China’s disapproval of the attacks even though it (Beijing) had not blocked the move in the UN Security Council.

“Pakistan is following, with serious concern, the developments in Libya in the wake of the military strikes. The loss of precious human lives is indeed regrettable. Peaceful political solution needs to be evolved by the Libyan people themselves in the spirit of mutual accommodation and national reconciliation,” Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar said in a policy statement.Staying short of a clear demand for a ceasefire, Ms Khar called for ensuring “stability, peace and unity of Libya”.

She also urged all parties to the conflict to observe humanitarian norms.

“Reports of civilian casualties are extremely distressing and raise serious questions and could have far-reaching implications about interpretation and implementation of humanitarian principles.”

Double standards were evident in Pakistan’s demand for upholding the principles of non-intervention and non-interference in internal affairs in case of Libya as it had tacitly endorsed GCC intervention in Bahrain.

Principles of respect for sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of states as well as principles of non-intervention and non-interference in internal affairs, the statement noted, were universal and must be respected in Libya.—Baqir Sajjad Syed


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