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Friday, August 28, 2009

Anniversary of Second Islamic Summit, Lahore (February 22, 1975)


The stamp is horizontal in format. On the left hand side of the stamp is depicted the design of the commemorative column proposed to be erected in front of the Assembly Hall at Lahore where the Islamic Summit was held from February 22, 1974. This is surrounded in concentric circles by symbolic reproductions in original colours of the flags of the countries who participated in the Lahore Summit.
On the right hand side is the portrait of Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Prime Minister of Pakistan, who in this capacity was elected the President of the Conference and at whose initiative, combined with that of His Majesty King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, the Second Islamic Summit was held at Lahore from February 22, 1974.
At the base is an inscription in Arabic stylized characters meaning all Muslims are brothers. The caption \"Anniversary Lahore Islamic Summit February 22, 1975\" appears in black on top portion of the panel behind the portrait the colour of which is blue in case of 20p stamp and red in case of Re. 1/- stamp.
The crest of the Lahore Islamic Summit consisting of a stylized rendering of (Urdu text) appears on the right side of this caption.
\"Pakistan” in Urdu and English appears at the top on either side of the commemorative column in blue colour in case of 20 Paisa stamp and in red colour in case of Re. 1/- stamp. Denomination of figures 20P and Re. 1/- appears in black just below the word \'Pakistan\' in English and Urdu while the word \"Postage\" also in black is placed in the bottom left corner. The Arabic inscription at the base is in blue colour in the 20P stamp and in red colour in Re. 1/- stamp, these colours being the same as used for the background of the portrait in the respective denomination.
The Second Islamic Summit Conference held at Lahore in February 1974 was an epoch-making event in the history of Islam. Never before had such a galaxy of Heads of State, Prime Ministers and other Muslim dignitaries congregated and conferred The First Islamic Summit was held in Rabat (Morocco) in October 1969, following the heinous arson in the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque in usurped Jerusalem. This sacrilegious vandalism had deeply moved the entire World of Islam and convinced the Heads of Islamic States and Governments and leaders of Muslim opinion that there was never before a greater need for forging unity among the Islamic ranks.
At the Rabat Summit far-reaching decisions were taken to promote closer cooperation and mutual assistance in the economic, scientific, cultural and spiritual fields. It was resolved that the Foreign Ministers of the Muslim countries should meet once a year. An Islamic Secretariat was created to implement the decisions of these Islamic Conferences. Consequently, four Islamic Conferences of Foreign Ministers were held between March 1970 and March 1973 with a view to accelerating the pace of co-operation among the Muslim countries in various fields. The Arab-Israel War of October 1973 was a turning-point in recent Muslim history in more ways than one. The tremors it sent round still reverberate all over the world. When the tide of Muslim feelings of fraternity was at its height it was decided to hold the Second Islamic Conference, and at Prime Minister Bhutto\'s cordial invitation, Lahore was chosen as its venue. Delegates from as many as 38 Muslim countries converged on the historic city and met under the presidentship of Mr. Zulfiqar All Bhutto.
The Lahore Declaration issued at the conclusion of the Summit Conference spelled out the Islamic Summit Conference\'s support to the Arab cause, specially to the cause of the people of Palestine, to the restoration of the occupied lands to the Arabs and restitution of the Holy City of Jerusalem.
The Lahore Summit Conference, which represented the Muslim world, constituting nearly one-fifth of the human race, resolved to pursue commonly accepted goals. The scope and area of action were greatly broadened when two momentous moves were made. The first was the significant resolve in the Declaration of Lahore to devise ways and means of eradicating poverty, ignorance and disease from the Islamic world. The second major decision was to identify the Muslim world with the Third World and its struggle for social progress and economic justice.
The decisions taken at the Lahore Conference have continued to be pursued with vigour and determination. The fifth Conference of the Islamic Foreign Ministers held at Kuala Lumpur in the middle of 1974 reflected the resolve to play a significant role in the affairs of the Third World. The Conference expressed concern not only for the security, well being and progress of the Muslim countries and communities but also those of the Third World. Pakistan made a valuable contribution to world peace by striking a forceful note of warning against the proliferation of nuclear devices.
In the economic field, the recommendations of the eight-nation Committee set up by the Lahore Summit have covered a wide field. The Committee\'s main concern was to so regulate international trade as to put an end to the exploitation of the developing countries by the developed ones. The institutional framework envisaged in the recommendations is nearing realization.
The Second Islamic Summit held at Lahore will always be remembered as a red-letter day in the history of Muslim Renaissance. The Father of the Nation, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, rightly regarded the birth of Pakistan not as an isolated phenomenon but a part of the worldwide resurgence of the Muslims.
Since her creation in 1947, the promotion of Islamic solidarity has been the cherished goal of Pakistan and the cornerstone of her foreign policy. Under the Permanent Constitution of 1973, it is a constitutional obligation as well, which Pakistan is fulfilling under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.
Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto who has been active in politics since 1954, became Commerce Minister in 1958 at the age of 30-the youngest ever Federal Minister in Pakistan\'s history. He held various portfolios and in 1963 he became Foreign Minister, in which capacity lie completely re-orientated the foreign policy. He resigned from Ayub Government in 1966 on account of policy differences. The Pakistan People\'s Party, founded and led by him, was given an overwhelming mandate in West Pakistan in the 1970 elections. He took over as President on 20th December, 1971, after the forced secession of East Pakistan. With the introduction of the permanent constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan he was elected Prime Minister and sworn in on 14 August 1973.
Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto has always been inspired by a grand vision of Muslim renaissance. Forging of ever-closer fraternal ties between Pakistan and other Islamic states has been the guiding principle of his Government\'s policy. His efforts in this direction took him to one of the highest points in his career; he first convened and organised, and then presided over the Second Islamic Summit Conference at Lahore from 22 to 24 February 1974.