The organisation of the Islamic Conference was established when the Heads of the Islamic States met for the first time at Rabat in 1969, in the wake of the sacrilegious act of burning of holy Al-Aqsa Mosque in August of that year. The leaders participating in that Summit expressed their conviction that their common creed constituted a powerful factor bringing their people closer toge-ther and fostering understanding between them. They declared that their Governments would consult each other with a view to promoting among them close cooperation and mutual assistance in the economic, cultural and spiritual fields, inspired by the immortal teachings of Islam.
The Organisation of the Islamic Conference now comprises 42 states of which Egypt and Afghanistan are under suspension. Its area of work extends to all aspects of cooperation among one billion Muslims all around the world. In only a decade of its existence, the Islamic Conference has been able to establish close cooperation among member states in the political, economic and cultural fields and has set up institutions which would foster such cooperation. Pakistan has always played a very active and constructive role in the affairs of the Islamic Conference. The 2nd Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers was held at Karachi in December, 1970 and in 1974 it had the honour to host the 2nd Islamic Summit at Lahore. The First Session of the Islamic Commission for Economic, Cultural and Social Welfare was also held at Karachi in Jan-uary, 1977 and in 1980 it hosted the Extraordinary Session of the Islamic Conference. The Eleventh Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers is being held in Islamabad from 17th to 21st of May, 1980. The agenda of the Conference includes a number of items of great political significance to the Islamic world and relating to cooperation among Islamic countries in the economic, social and cultural fields. On top of the list are the Middle East, Palestine and Afghanistan as well as the struggle against colonialism and racial discrimination in Namibia and South Africa. The Conference is also expected to consider collective security of the Islamic Ummah, making Gulf a zone of peace, free from Super-Power rivalry, the proposal to hold Islamic Summits at regular intervals as well as the Brandt Commission’s report.