US President Barack Obama demanded Gaddafis ouster in excess of the stipulations in the (On 1973) Security Council Resolution, and in contravention of the provisions of the UN Charter 1945 basing the organisation on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its members. The Libyan uprising - more a revolt - started on February 15 by a group designated as the National Conference for the Libyan Opposition (NCLO), which is, reportedly, an umbrella organisation founded in London during 2005. Owning the tricolour flag as the symbol of its faction, a re-adoption of the Libyan national colour from the times of King Idris of Libya, deposed almost 42 years ago by the then military Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, the group declared its headquarters in Benghazi. Situated in the eastern region of Libya, the second most popular city after Tripoli, this coastal city on the Mediterranean is close to Egypt in the east. The revolting faction has declared an interim setup, named Transitional National Council, laying its claims to control Benghazi and some other eastern parts of liberated Libya. The Council is chaired by Mustafa Abdul Jalil, a former Law Minister of the Gaddafi regime, who belongs to the Harabi tribe - as some other leading members of the council - located in the northeast of Libya. The members of the Council, including Jalil, have been condemned as traitors by Gaddafi, who has declared a sizable amount as bounty for the latters head. The tribal fault lines in the Libyan society though have waned, however, the tribal divides worsened during Gaddafis rule, as the Western tribes loyal to him, like the Hasoony, benefited and flourished, compared with the eastern tribes such as the Harabi. The Council under Jalil, a shy and inarticulate person, made claims of wide-based, grassroot following, supposedly basing its legitimacy on the organisation of local councils in every town and village. According to Jalil, the council aspired to establish a secular, democratic, multiparty system in the country. On the contrary, it is common knowledge that the limited-size public demonstrations were organised under strong Islamic traditions to commemorate the episode of Danish cartoons during 2006. The political attempt to exploit fundamentalist religious sentiments, of course, was evident. In eastern Libya, this tradition had resulted in jihadi participation in the Iraq war. The Libyan Islamic group against Gaddafi - a reasonable percentage of its members fought in Afghanistan - had an affiliation with Al-Qaeda. The claim made by Gaddafi, that his opposition in eastern Libya was led by Al-Qaeda, has some semblance of truth. In this perspective, the Councils claim under Jalil for a secular setup of the state, given the ideological make of the eastern region of Libya, wherein resides its support, is an incompatible admixture that arouses serious scepticism. Against this background, considering the initial UN Security Council Resolution on Libya, that is, Resolution 1970 adopted on February 26, appears to be a hasty approach. The imposition of sanctions and freezing of assets owned by therein outlined individuals, entities and state belonging to Libya, without any particular diplomatic endeavours preceding the UN resolution, naturally arouse suspicions about the nature of the uprising in the eastern zone of Libya. The resolutionidentified the widespread and systematic attacks amount[ing] to crimes against humanity, which impart a distinct impression to a neutral observer of an urban warfare. The next UN Security Council Resolution 1973 on Libya was adopted on March 17, 2011, under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. Due note was taken in the resolution of the decision by the Council of the Arab League on March 12 that suggested an imposition of a no-fly zone on Libyan military aviation. Excessive emphasis was laid upon the protection of the civilian population in the resolution, and solution for the legitimate demands of the Libyan people. It acknowledged the decisions of the UN Secretary General to send his special envoy, and of the African Union to dispatch a high-level committee, to Libya to find a peaceful and sustainable solution of the turmoil. However, the most vital part of the resolution was the establishment of a no-fly zone in the Libyan airspace. A review of the principal facts relevant to the Libyan situation is indicated. The uprising began on February 15; the two UN Security Council resolutions on Libya were adopted on February 26 (Resolution 1970) and March 17 (Resolution 1973). Diplomacy was not allowed any visible chance to succeed; for the air strikes on Libya by the combined airpowers of the US, UK and France began two days after the resolution. From the invasion of the Western alliance against Iraq on January 16, 1991, it was common knowledge that the establishment of a no-fly zone entails a major act of war, effectively neutralising the target countrys air power. And this fact ought to have been known to the Arab League that actually set the stage for the UN Resolution, by demanding establishment of a no-fly zone in Libya on March 12. Ironically, the same fact was made known by US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in their testimonies before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee in early March. Soon after the combined air strikes on Libya - involving strike jets, stealth bombers and cruise missiles - Amr Moussa, the Secretary General of the Arab League, the individual in effect instrumental in the passage of the UN resolution allowing the creation of a no-fly zone in Libya, severely criticised the Western air attacks on Libya as did the African Union. US President Barack Obama demanded Gaddafis ouster in excess of the stipulations in the 1973 Security Council Resolution, and in contravention of the provisions of the UN Charter 1945 basing the organisation on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its members. The US invoked the application of international criminal law upon the Libyan leader, as stipulated in the resolution, notwithstanding the fact that America itself is not a signatory to the Charter of International Criminal Law. Noteworthy is the fact that the Obama administration, in contravention of the US Constitution, has violated the sovereignty of an African state by invading it without first seeking sanction from the US Congress. Notwithstanding the underlying commendable intentions of protecting the civilian population, especially in the Libyan cities located in its eastern zone, who will be responsible for the perpetuation of the civil strife in Libya, following the establishment of a no-fly zone there? The nature of differences emerging among the members of the international coalition are varied. The Arab League clarified its position by stating that the no-fly zone in Libya demanded by the League excluded any ground attacks altogether. France recognised the Libyan rebels as the countrys legitimate representatives. On the contrary, other EU and NATO member states have abstained from undertaking any such step. The US has all but called for Gaddafis overthrow from within. The US military commanders openly called on the Libyan military to stop following orders. The allies did finally reach an agreement to handover command of the no-flight operations to NATO. However, the control of the ground operations will be out of NATOs supervision. Its (NATO) involvement is in evident contravention of the provisions of its Treaty relevant to collective military response. An armed attack against its member(s), threatening the territorial integrity, political independence or security entitles the organisation to respond collectively. These provisions are stipulated in the Articles 4, 5 and 6 of the Treaty. In contrast, in the instance of Libya no such threat was posed to any of the NATO member states. Such an attempt at sidestepping the demands of the NATO Treaty are in addition to exceeding the requirements of the UN Charter, as well as not fulfilling the demands of the US Constitution, as already noted. The Foreign Secretary of Pakistan the other day expressed serious reservations over the UN Resolution on Libya, and termed it faulty. His concerns were genuinely based on the establishment of an erroneous precedent in international conduct by the states infringing upon the sovereignty of Libya, and the chances of political instability arising in the region of conflict in Africa. In this background, noteworthy is the fact that the 10 states that voted in favour of the UNSC Resolution 1973 have a combined population of less than one billion and a GDP of $20 trillion. In comparison, the five states that abstained from voting have a population of nearly three billion, and a GDP of about $21 trillion. The US and allies had the moral obligation to consult this group about their no-fly zone strategy over Libya. The League of Nations faltered because the major powers pursued their national interests in disregard of its charter. This lesson from the past is only too apt at this stage of international relations. The writer is Chairman, Pakistan Ideological Forum Email: suhrabaslam@hotmail.com