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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. Stability, peace and unity of Libya are of paramount importance.

It is imperative that humanitarian norms are respected by all concerned in letter and spirit. Reports of civilian casualties are extremely distressing and raise serious questions and could have far-reaching implications about interpretation and implementation of humanitarian principles.

Pakistan has always upheld the principles of respect for the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of States as well as the principles of non-intervention and non-interference in internal affairs. These principles are universal and must be respected in Libya. It is imperative that all sides adhere to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and relevant norms of international law.

Pakistan enjoys close fraternal relations with the Libyan people and fervently hopes that they would succeed, sooner rather than later, in restoring stability and peace, and establishing a societal equilibrium that accords fully with their national aspirations.

There is a large Pakistani community in Libya. Pakistan remains mindful of the safety and security of its nationals. Our Embassy in Tripoli and the Special Task Force in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are working round-the-clock to ensure the safety of our nationals.

The Government of Pakistan has so far, arranged evacuation of more than five thousand Pakistanis from Libya.

21 March 2011

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