It would be recalled that a violent change in Afghanistan in April 1978 had brought a Marxist regime in power through a bloody coup d’etat. The resultant internal strife forced many Afghans to seek refuge in Pakistan. A second coup in September 1 979 developed the trickle of refugees into a major influx. In the closing days of 1979, as a result of foreign military intervention in Afghanistan, Babrak Karmal was placed at the helm of affairs supplanting the government in power. This further accelerated the already heavy influx of refugees into Pakistan. Their present total exceeds 1 .5 million. Most of the refugees are old men, women and little children who usually arrive in Pakistan as destitute, in extreme misery and want. Pakistan. as a neighbouring country with close ties of history and religion with Afghan-istan, is morally bound to accept the Afghan refugees on humanitarian grounds. Motivated by the sense of Islamic solidarity, the Government of Pakistan is providing to the Afghan refugees the basic amenities of life such as food, shelter, medicines and a small maintenance allowance for their daily needs.
The Extraordinary Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers, held in Islamabad in January 1980, was convened specifically to deliberate upon the situation in Afghanistan consequent to armed foreign intervention there. The membership of Afghanistan in the Islamic Conference was suspended and the Islamic Foreign Ministers called for immediate and uncond-itional withdrawal of all Soviet troops stationed on Afghan territories. The Eleventh Islamic Confe-rence of Foreign Ministers held in Islamabad in May 1980 reiterated the resolution of the Extra-ordinary Session and decided to establish a committee comprising of the Secretary General of OIC and the Foreign Ministers of Pakistan and Iran to seek ways and means for a comprehensive solution of the crisis in Afghanistan. The membership of the Committee has since been enlarged to include Guinea and Tunisia. The Islamic Summit Conference reaffirmed the determination of the Islamic countries to seek a political solution of the Afghan crisis and recommended to the Committee to cooperate with the Secretary General of the United Nations and his Special Represe-ntative in their endeavours to resolve the situation in Afghanistan. Pakistan fervently hopes that the Afghan refugees would soon be in a position to return to their homes in safety and honour, and to this end is endeavoring for an early political solution of the Afghan crisis.
The Summit Conference also adopted a comprehensive Plan of Action for liberation of AI-Quds Al-Sharif and restoration of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people. It also reviewed and took important decisions in respect of the Middle East, the Iran-Iraq war, Muslim minorities and all round collaboration among Islamic countries. A Plan of Action for determining the course of economic, technical, commercial and industrial cooperation among Islamic countries was also approved.
The Third Islamic Summit Conference was a convincing demonstration of the inherent unity and solidarity of the Islamic world. It will remain an important landmark in the Islamic Ummah’s quest for united striving towards peace and prosperity of the entire world.
To commemorate the Third Islamic Summit Conference, Pakistan Post Office will issue two series of stamps. The first series consists of 5 stamps in three designs and will be released on the 29th March, 1981 highlighting AFGHAN REFUGEES. The second series will consist of 4 stamps in two different designs on the Third Islamic Summit and will be released in April, 1981.