Pakistan and Libya enjoyed deep rooted diplomatic relations throughout the history of relations. Both countries share historical, cultural especially the common religious heritage and these have provided a sound base for promoting and strengthening trade and economic ties. Over the years, the relationships have observed many ups and downs, mainly depends on the intent of nature of regimes for furthering the relations. Like for instance during Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s tenure, relations between Pakistan and Libya were at the highest point while later the warmth turned into lukewarm. Presence of 30,000 skilled workers Pakistanis, who are residing in Libya for earning good will for both countries, are the greatest source of bonding the ties stronger. In 2009, Government of Pakistan pledged to send 50,000 skilled workers by the end of the year under a MoU signed between the two countries during a visit of the President of Pakistan to Libya. It is to be noted another cultural and economic agreement was also signed where a combined shipping company was established. Pakistan and Libya supported each other on several occasions including fight against floods, infections disease, other natural calamities in both countries, people stood by each other.
In an exclusive sitting with Mr. AbdulWahed Abugila, Charge’d Affairs, Embassy of Libya in Pakistan, various issues of bilateral relations has been discussed at length for our readers. Mr. AbdulWahed is new In charge of Embassy. The Diplomatic Insight welcomes his presence and hope that during his presence, Pakistan and Libya would see new heights of relations.
The Diplomatic Insight is reproducing the excerpts of discussion with Mr. AbdulWahed Abugila for reader’s interest.
Q: Thank you for your time Excellency. What are your observations of relations between Pakistan and Libya over the years?
Ans. The relations over the years has been more brotherly and based on mutual trust and congeniality resting on the fact that both countries have shared history and religious heritage over the years. Both states stood by each other during the time of hardships and supported each other. There are several thousand Pakistanis who are living in Libya to earn the good will for both states. After the fall of Qadaffi regime, Pakistan recognized formally Libya’s new government, the National Transitional Council(NTC). This has been welcomed by all quarters of people of Libya and Pakistan. The ties of the states would further deepened and strengthened with the vision to have mutual trust and working relationship and these are moved on a solid footing and are better than the previous one.
Q: What are the various steps taken by the new government in Libya to strengthen relations with Pakistan?
Ans: The incumbent government of Libya intends to repair and rebuild its consulate in Karachi aswell. As we know that Karachi is hub of trade and skilled labor. Our new government’s this decision is meant to enhance trade links. The city has skilled labor as well, which our government is also looking to ensure to be based in our country for reconstruction and other related works. As our Muslim brothers from Pakistan are most welcome to our country for finding work and support both states in coming more closer together. Pakistani government and companies are united and are eager to invest and work in Libya.
Q: What are the various avenues where Pakistan and Libya can cooperate and enhance partnership?
Ans: Both countries can exchange various expertise in fields like in the fields of Oil Exploration, Higher Education, Engineering and Medical Studies. Both Pakistan and Libya need to aggressively pursue cooperation in fields of construction, export of Pakistani manpower, agriculture, infrastructure development and finance. Libya would prefer Pakistani companies to play in the development and reconstruction of Libyan infrastructure and in housing and development sector. Libya would increase its recruitment policy of Pakistani manpower in diverse sectors of its economy like we have done it in the past to promote the joint cooperation.
Q: What is your message to the people of Pakistan?
Ans: My message to the people of Pakistan is message of hope and friendship. I praise people of Pakistan for working hard and their devotion for the country. I would also like to praise those Pakistanis who are in Libya to earn the good will for both the states and have contributed through their sweat and blood for the development and construction of our country.
* Exclusively by The Diplomatic Insight