ISLAMABAD - Libyan ambassador to Pakistan Nizar Ahmed Nabbaya Monday said the international community was pressing the Libyan government to let thousands of illegal immigrants and refugees settle permanently in the North African country.

Speaking to journalists here, he said the world’s demand was illegal as thousands of immigrants were entering the country annually in their attempt to reach the greener pastures in different European countries through the sea route.

At present, Nabbaya said, there were around 1.5 million illegal immigrants in the country.

Referring to a report released by an international news network, he said the Libyan law outlawed heinous crimes such as human smuggling and drug trafficking.

Nabbaya said benefitting from the country’s situation; human smugglers had made Libya a conduit for human smuggling.

He said Libya was the only country in the world that had become a haunt of millions of illegal immigrants who fall in the age bracket of 30-35.

Nabbaya said around five to six million illegal immigrants from different countries reach Libya annually who try to reach different European countries through the mafia and human smugglers.

The ambassador made it clear that his country was not involved in human smuggling as was being alleged by the European countries.

He said Libya wanted all illegal immigrants and refugees to go back to their countries and rejected the European countries’ demand to allow them to settle there permanently.