THE ISLAMIC SUMMIT CONFERENCE
The Islamic Summit Conference comprising heads of states, foreign ministers, leaders and other high dignitaries of thirty-seven Muslim countries, took place between February 22,1974, and February 24,1974, at Lahore, the city of Iqbal who was the greatest exponent after Jemaluddin Afghani of Muslim unity and solidarity in the world. It was an epoch-making conference and naturally its impact on the world was greater than that of the first summit conference which took place five years before at Rabat.
The Muslims of undivided India responding to the message of Jemaluddin Afghani, Iqbal and Mohammed Ali always gave a clarion call for Muslim solidarity in the world. And it was thus that the first World Muslim Conference was held at Mecca in June, 1916. A number of conferences were held in subsequent years also but never was the presence of many heads of states and other dignitaries of Muslim states so large as at Lahore. Certainly Mr. Z. A. Bhutto, Prime Minister of Pakistan, deserves high praise for having invited success-fully so many dignitaries from Muslim countries at a time when the Muslim world is beset with mortal dangers from all sides. And it is reassuring to learn that these dignitaries did some loud thinking in solving the problems of Muslim unity and facing the Palestine question.
Among the countries that participated in the Islamic Summit Conference, many have come out of the clutches of foreign imperialism during the last twenty-five years. And many among them are such as are living a backward life. Yet it is a notable fact that all of them are endeavouring hard to come to a high standard of life set by Islam.
Another very striking feature was the absence of any racial feeling among the delegates who had come from the hot zones of Africa and from the temperate zones of Iran, Turkey and regions bordering the southern shores of the Mediterranean sea. They were absolutely indifferent to colour bias for they had assembled to serve Islam which does not recognise any difference of race or colour in its votaries. Here the words of Prof. Arnold Toynbee may be quoted with satisfaction that "the extinction of race consciousness as between Muslims is one of the outstanding moral achievements of Islam, and in the contemporary world there is, as it happens a crying need for the propagation of this Islamic virtue; for the race consciousness is a fatality of the present situation and that this consciousness is felt — and felt strongly".
It may be pointed out here that in the United Nations gatherings and conferences representatives of the black and the white races also take part and sit together but it is most notable that there is no compatibility and similarity in the views of different racial and social groups within the United Nations which is more or less an organisation to further imperialist interests of white nations.
Yet another striking feature was the different and social and political standards of the countries represented by their delegates at the conference. For instance, in some countries there is still prevalent the tribal organisation in its most rigid form; and in others there is the national system. Thus there is monarchy in some countries but in others there is democracy and republican form of government. Similarly there are differences of social and economic organisations. For instance, there is capitalism still prevalent in some countries but it is in a dying state while in some other countries the trend is towards socialist society and further towards mixed economy. But in spite of all these differences of social and political organisations, the common object of all the peoples of these countries is to serve Islam. This is a clear sign that Islam far from being in a moribund condition is healthy and kicking and that the frequent declarations of the enemies of Islam that Islam is a played-out force, that it is against progress, that its followers believe in pre-destination and so look to the past rather than to the future, that it is fit for a backward society and so on, are not only false and mischievous but they are meant to mislead people and create among the Muslims a sense of inferiority. But the fact is, as Iqbal rightly said that
"Islam still possesses the power and force to break the bonds of destiny, although many ignorant people call it a prisoner of destiny".
The Palestine Issue.
Three days before the Summit Conference Foreign Ministers of seventeen Muslim countries formally met to prepare an agenda for the Conference. 'I hey met in more than two sessions and finalised the agenda as follows : — " The situation in the Middle East, the Palestinian cause and the strong attachment of Muslims to Jerusalem and the firm determination of their Governments to liberate it". Undoubtedly there were other important problems before the Foreign Ministers' Agenda Committee but the burning of the Holy Mosque of Jerusalem and the fate and future of Palestine clinched the issue in favour of Palestine leaving other issues for future conferences.
The thing that incensed and enraged the Muslims all over the world is the presence of the Zionist state in Palestine and the occupation of Jerusalem by the Jews and desecration of the Masjid-al-Aqsa. Jerusalem was the first "Qibla" of Islam and is sacred in the eyes of Muslims after Mecca and Medinah. The supremacy of non-Muslims over the holy shrine of Islam is no less than a torment for the entire Muslim world. The statement of the Jews that they have historical connection with Palestine is not only false but is intended to throw dust in the eyes of the world. It is just an eye-wash. The Jews ruled a part o f Palestine only for 70 years. Then they were exiled to Iraq and to further east. When they returned to Palestine, they found Palestine too unwelcome for them to stay. So, as Prof. Hocking, formerly of the University of Chicago, has pointed out, the Jews left Palestine voluntarily and that their scriptures were for the most part written outside Palestine. Therefore they have no claim on a territory which once they had left.
The Christian Powers of Europe under the leadership of Pope Urban 11 attacked Palestine at the end of the eleventh century and thus started the Crusades against Islam. But behind the religious facade, there was the spirit of adventure and expansion of economic and territorial gains. The Crusaders remained in the Holy Land for about 150 years after which they were pushed back and driven out by the victorious forces of Sultan Salahuddin. Thus the Christian problem of Palestine ended here. But the problem became complicated when at the end of the First World War, Turkey was defeated and the British forces entered Palestine with a view to establishing a national home for Jews, a dubious cover for final occupation by the Jews of the territory of Palestine. Looking to the problem from many angles it becomes clear that the Jewish state was envisaged to serve as the spring-board for British imperialism in the Middle East as far as India. Today, however, imperialism is dying and is in a moribund condition. It is, therefore, out of question for western imperialism to stay in Palestine under the cover of the Jewish state.
The Bangladesh Problem.
Ever since the military action of Yahya Khan began on March 25, 1971, the problem of East Pakistan has been a boiling cauldron. India's Military intervention made the problem worse. It was a direct military attack on a territory which had no quarrel with India but India's desire for expansion forced her war-mongers to try their luck in East Pakistan. So in complicity with a great power they succeeded in dividing East Pakistan from West Pakistan. However, this fact is as clear as daylight that without India's military intervention East Pakistan would never have been cut off from West Pakistan.
When Pakistan troops surrendered in East Pakistan, leaving the field clear for India's action, there was no way out of this difficulty except through offering recognition to Bangladesh which during the last two years had undergone so much suffering that it had almost purged itself through a sort of catharsis and developed a certain feeling of amity towards West Pakistan.
On the other hand, some Muslim powers felt it incumbent that Bangladesh, being a majority Muslim area, should be represented at the Islamic Summit Conference. Therefore they began to work towards this object and sounded Mr. Mujibur Rahman through various sources. Mr. Mujibur Rahman's only objection towards a rapprochement was the question of recognition of equal and independent status of Bangladesh. Prime Minister Bhutto had already obtained the will of the National Assembly for recognition but he postponed the decision in favour of a suitable occasion. A delegation of Muslim Foreign Ministers also visited Mr. Mujibur Rahman at Dacca a day before the Conference and they brought the news that Mr. Mujibur Rahman would attend the Conference after recognition.
So in the evening of February 22, 1974, one hour and fifteen minutes before the opening of the Islamic Summit Conference Prime Minister Bhutto announced the recognition of Bangladesh. In announcing the recognition he made it clear that he was not doing it under any pressure. Super powers had been advising him to grant recognition but he had ignored their requests. In the same manner he had given no importance to India's importunities. He disavowed all pressures of this character but the only pressure that worked on him was that of the welfare of the people. He claimed that he had taken this decision with the sole consideration of the interest of Pakistan.
Proceeding further Prime Minister Bhutto said that Bangladesh was a reality and if that reality could be ignored he would have done so but reality could not be ignored by mere talk. He denied that by recognising Bangladesh Pakistan was letting the forces responsible for it to enjoy "the fruit of aggression". Situations could be resolved both by war and peace and if they were not resolved by peace, war was resorted to. He further explained that he was not happy in taking this decision but sometimes right decisions were painful decisions. He took this decision because he thought it was right to take it.
Consequent on his announcement of the recognition of Bangladesh, Mr. Mujibur Rahman at the head of a Bangladesh delegation arrived in the morning of February 20, 1974.
The Summit Conference Opens.
The Islamic Summit Conference opened at 6 P. M. under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Bhutto with a recitation from the Holy Quran. In his opening speech Prime Minister Bhutto said that the Middle East situation was an out-growth of the problem of Palestine and its core was Jerusalem. The states that had sponsored the partition of Palestine in 1947 bore a heavy responsibility for redressing the injustices perpetrated on the people of Palestine. Explaining further the object of the Summit Conference, he said that the states that had gathered at Lahore were committed to strive for the restoration of the legitimate rights of the people of Palestine. "This is our obligation not only to the people of Palestine and not merely to the cause of Islamic brotherhood but also to the larger cause of universal peace", he declared. Dilating further on the Palestine probiem, he said that the sons and daughters of Palestine through their suffering, fortitude and the constancy of their commitment had earned a recognition of their legitimate rights to resolve the problem that had been festering so long. The Ramazan war had released a current that could flow towards a just settlement. He also paid tributes to those who laid down their lives in the sands of Sinai and on the Golan heights in the cause of justice and human dignity. He pointed out that the Western Powers under the pressure of economic forces had awakened to the urgency of "a definite settlement" but the mediatory processes could vanish if there were apathy towards the root of the problem and a satisfaction at the partial solution.
The Role of Oil.
Throwing light on the role of oil in the present world situation he said that far reaching possibilities had been opened by the demonstrated ability of the oil-producing States to concert their policies and this might well presage the end of a deranged world order. The Third World was now in a position, for the first time, to use its own resources for financing its development through co-operative effort, and it could now forge its own financial institutions. Mr. Bhutto, however, under-lined the fact that "these exciting opportunities" could be grasped or missed, for there are also perils and pitfalls in the present situation. The gravest of these perils was that of a discord between the oil-producing countries of the Third World and such disarray could do a great damage to the political causes they were espousing today. He also made a fervent plea that the danger must be overcome by positive action.
Coming to the problem of unity, Mr. Bhutto said that the Muslim countries were now able to play "a most constructive" and rewarding role for co-operation amongst themselves and with the rest of the Third World. The time for translating the sentiments of Islamic unity into concrete measures of co-operation and mutual benefit was here. "Let not posterity say that we were presented with historic, possibly unrepeatable, opportunity to release ourselves from the injustices on us for many centuries and we proved ourselves unequal to it," he said. In his final note he said that the essential elements of a Middle East settlement were : the withdrawal of Israeli forces from all occupied Arab territories, restoration of Jerusalem to the Arabs and the restitution of the Palestinian Peoples' rights.
The Syrian President Hafez al-Assad who was the first speaker at the opening session of the three-day Summit conference after the Presidential address by Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, expressed his confidence that the Islamic Summit conference would result in a stand commensurate with the gravity of the situation in the Middle East.
He said, "It is indeed a matter of great importance that the leaders of 700 million Muslims should meet at Summit level with the aim of defending the holy places of Islam and of supporting the just Arab cause.
He expressed the hope that the Lahore conference would enhance existing links between "our States and enable us to serve our peoples and to realise their objectives in a better way".
The present conference, he said, was being held following the Ramazan war which the Arab people fought to achieve liberation while the first confernce was held as a reaction to the crime of the burning of Al-Aqsa Mosque.
This, he added, meant "we meet today as makers of events where-as we had met in the past in reaction to events. This fact should be a source of strength marking a new stage of doubled efforts and more effective action".
President Assad referred to the dangers threatening Jerusalem and other Islamic shrines in the Arab lands and said: "We have come to exchange opinions and to share in reaching a decision regarding these dangers. Zionism represents an evil to all humanity because it exploits Judaism to serve an artificial chauvinistic phenomenon.
"If the tenets of Zionism were accepted, New York would lose two-thirds of its population and the claims of the Nazis that Jews are incapable of being good citizens in the countries in which they are born and whose benefits they enjoy would be inevitably confirmed".
The October war, he added, was in one way or another continuing. It had not come to an end and it would not until complete Israeli withdrawal was effected and the Arab people of Palestine were assured of their legitimate rights.
Libyan Arab Republic President, Mohammad Muammer Gaddafi, speaking on the first day of the Lahore Summit Conference called for a united front for the liberation of Jerusalem and said all resources of the Muslim world should be mobilised to attain this cherished goal.
Col. Gaddafi said Jerusalem was occupied by the enemy by force and it could only be liberated by taking up arms.
Islam, he added, is a religion of right and the world of Islam today was determined to fight for their righteous cause till the final victory.
He dwelt at length on the history of the creation of the State of Israel on the Arab soil and the eviction of the Muslims of Palestine from their home and hearths. He said that the inhuman treatment meted out to the Arab population of Palestine could not be justified under any norm of international behavior.
If the rights of the Palestine people were not restored by other means, the Islamic countries, he urged, should send volunteers and arms for the purpose.
Col. Gaddafi said the Islamic countries should use volunteers and their weapons for the sacred cause of liberating the Qibla-i-Awwal from Zionist control.
Col. Gaddafi said it was commendable that despite its difficulties. Pakistan was hosting the conference. He said there were still certain forces out to harm Pakistan and it needed the sympathy and support of brotherly countries.
Speaking about the oil requirments of the developing States, he said the oil-producing countries would adopt a rational policy towards those among them which had supported the Arab cause.
The industrialised world would have to choose "between our friendship and the friendship of our enemy."
He proposed to oil producing Muslim countries to demarcate consumer countries into three groups, with the Islamic world getting oil at the best terms.
The three groups, he said, should be of industrialised countries, Third World and the Islamic countries.
Oil to industrialised countries, he suggested, be sold at the already agreed prices with the exception of those providing arms and technology to the producers.
The Third World countries should get better treatment than the industrialised ones and the Islamic countries should get still better treatment in view of the fact that Islamic world constituted one entity.
He said the energy crisis gripping the world had seriously affected the economies of the Third World countries which played a noble role during the October war in the Midle East.
President Houari Boumedienne of Algeria, speaking in the general debate on the second day of the Islamic Summit Conference, appealed for adding a material contract to the existing spiritual link among the Muslims.
Discussing the link between the spiritual and the material, he said that the spiritual tie was there. It only needed to be embodied and to assume its material shape through co-operation in various fields, particularly the economic one.
Economy, he said, was the foundation of life in today's world. Unless we succeed in giving spiritual bonds their economic content, we were bound to remain subjected and submissive in spite of all philosophising and in spite of whatever meaning we give to the tenets of Islam and its suitability as a consitution for all times and places. Human experience had shown that religious ties, whether Muslim, Christian or otherwise, broke down in the face of poverty and ignorance.
If we want to speak of Islam and Islamic solidarity, he said, we have to come out of this meeting with two resolutions the first of which should be in support of our just cause : the cause of the Arab Mashriq, Palestine and Jerusalem.
Should we come out with this resolution and support it with another resolution regarding the elaboration of a practical formula for co-operation among the Islamic countries, we would be in a position to state that Islam is all right and that Muslims had begun to reorient their steps on the path of development and evolution, towards pride and dignity, and this would put us in a position of power that would enable us to defend our just causes.
Third World and Industrial National:
Describing the Third World comprising African and Asian Countries as well as non-aligned ones, he said that there was a struggle going on between the Third World and the industrial world. Therefore, we had to look at these things from a Muslim's point of view, given the fact that Muslims were denied their rights, their countries were oppressed and remained dependent on Centres of influence and exploitation. These Centres are not in Asia, Africa or Latin America; they were situated in Europe and America.
The World had witnessed the Berlin dispute, the Sino-American dispute, the Vietnam War, and finally the Arab East's War which resulted in the energy crisis. Both the energy crisis and rising oil prices were a consequence of the raging conflict in the Arab East.
Proceeding further he said :— "We have always said in all Arab meetings that the battle was not only political or military, but was a battle of all potentialities including energy and oil. The Arabs have imposed an embargo on oil. Such embargo was beneficial to everybody, and so, after the Arabs had exposed their youth to death and destruction, they also exposed their interests to dire hazards."
"What are the potentials of the other countries that participated in taking the decision for the sake of the sacred cause, regardless of the fact that they were exposing their interests to a deadly peril?"
"All the oil-producing countries benefitted from this decision and we welcome this fact, for first and foremost, it is the fruit of long and bitter struggle against oppression and exploitation."
"We have lived on lakes of black gold but all the profit went to America to increase its power, tyranny and cruelty. These profits helped its industrial base to expand and strengthened the forces of aggression which sought to subject proples."
"Our national resources were drained by Europe, too, to the extent that the wealthy became even wealthier at the expense of the poor. Our struggle to control a vital sector of our national resources is both just and legitimate and we paid heavy sacrifices in carrying on our struggle."
Oil and Raw Material:
Algeria has won her war of liberation at the heavy expense ofone tenth of her population. She has gained independence but she is still licking her wounds. The oil campaign is regarded by Algeria as part of the wider battle for raw materials. Algeria restored control over her oil resources in the face of peril from the monopoly that mobilized every ounce of strength to bring Algeria to her knees. But Algeria fought a total war for world control over raw materials against industrial powers that have exhausted or are about to exhaust their national resources and seek greedily to lay their hands on those of the oppressed nations of the Third World, Muslims and non-Muslims alike."
"When we spoke in the past about the dangers threatening us, our words got limited response. Sufferings of our Third World went unheeded in Europe. The resolutions of the Group of Seventy Seven remained on paper, as the Santiago Conference (Chile) did not produce any positive reaction from industrialised countries. We called for the investment of one percent, which is one of our rights; however, industrialised countries did not invest even a fraction of their profits in the development of the countries producing raw materials. Today after the battle of oil has started, some say to Third World countries that the decision to impose an embargo and raise oil prices is aimed primarily at developing countries. The question that arises at this stage is whether the exploiter ever defended the rights of the exploited?"
"The price of iron ore, for instance, has not risen since twelve years. Nevertheless, metal works, including weapons, are sold not only at expensive prices but also with prior conditions. We import capital goods and scientific expertise at soaring prices. Since our imports from industrialzed countries are constantly increasing, our losses grow day after day."
"The battle of oil is, consequently, part of an allout battle, namely that of raw materials. Such a battle projects the context of relationships existing between advanced industrialised countries and developing ones; a context revealing the wide gap between the two. We should put this historical opportunity to good use, and face those who seek to tighten their grip on our destinies. However, individual moves are of no avail, and the only means to achieve the desired results lies in unified action. Therefore, we have to act as coordinated groups...an Arab group, an Islamic one and a third belonging to non-alignment. Within these different frameworks, we have to find solutions to our own problems in so far as co-operation is concerned."
"Algeria welcomes effective co-operation and is working for it. She will be ready to abide by any decision aimed at developing and consolidating co-operation among these groups. With all due respect, I believe that the oil issue is not one of prices. We believe that the present price is not exorbitant, particularly for industrial states."
"If there are problems besetting the developing countries, we must seek together, jointly and as brothers, for radical solutions, and try to avoid the seduction of apparently simple but deceptive solutions which tend to dilute the cause and check this awakening consciousness which is dawning on the Third World. By cleverly using the oil asset, oil-producing countries, as well as all developing countries, will derive full benefit. I am sure that our voice will be heard clearly for the first time at Extraordinary meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations. The Third World will most assuredly, make its presence felt. Hence, it is our duty to be careful in order not to lose this chance. We must be vigilant and find out suitable formulas for our problems. Among us there are some states who are rich in potentialities and have abundant surpluses; let them invest these potentialities and this surplus within an African and Arab context, indeed within the context of non-alignment for they are the suitable and normal frameworks for co-operation and collaboration.
If we are able to get out of this meeting with concrete resolutions which embody our co-operation, we will be entitled to deem this Conference a decisive turning point in the history of relations between Islamic States.
The Iranian View.
Mr. Abbas Ali Khalatbari, leader of the Iranian delegation, speaking during the general debate on the second day of the Islamic Summit, said that the victory of Arabs in the Ramazan War was a decisive step towards the solution of the Middle East problem for which the Muslim countries had waited so long.
He said the exemplary courage shown by the valiant Arab armies to liberate the occupied Arab areas had drawn admiration of the whole world.
Mr. Khalatbari recalled that Shahinshah of Iran had always supported the Arabs in their fight against Israeli aggression. The Shahinshah was one of the first to condemn the Israeli aggression in 1967. He said that Iran was a co-sponsor of United Nations Resolution No. 242 which demanded complete vacation of Israeli aggression. Recently Iran had drawn attention of International Congress on Human Rights on the violation of these rights in Arab areas under Israeli occupation.
Mr. Khalatbari said that Iran had a very clear policy regarding the status of Jerusalem. Iran was against any unilateral modification of the legal status of the city under any circumstances. Like all Muslims Iranians dearly cherished the liberation of the Holy City.
Iran had also always given steadfast support to the suffering people of Palestine, who had been uprooted from their homeland, he added.It was a matter of concern that the international community was not able to find a just solution to the problem. Iran, he said, had been giving maximum possible aid to the struggling people of Palestine. Mr. Khalatbari believed that the Geneva peace conference would open a new perspective for the establishment of peace in the Middle East.
Mr. Khalatbari said Iran was one of the first oil-producing countries to realise the impact of increased oil prices on the economies of the developing countries and had already taken steps to find out remedies. He said Iran had decided to give the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund one million dollars to create a fund to enable the developing countries to overcome economic difficulties.
Iran was, he said, one of the founder-members of the Islamic Conference and attached great importance to it since this organisarion had united Muslims from the Atlantic to the Sea of China. He praised the efforts of Prime Minister Bhutto and the people of Pakistan in convening the Conference, which was sure to promote understanding among the Muslims besides helping in promoting a better understanding of the contemporary world.
Tun Abdur Razzak.
The Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Abdul Razzak, expressed the hope that the Muslim world would be able to regain the pristine glory of Islam.
Addressing the second open session of the Summit Conference Tun Razzak welcomed the presence of Sheikh Mujib in the conference and admired the sagacity shone by Prime Minister Bhutto in this regard. With this, a new ere would dawn in the region, he added.
He paid tributes to the former Secretary-General of the Islamic Secretariat, Tunku Abdur Rehman, whose efforts contributed a lot to the convening of the current Summit.
Tun Razzak decried Israel's instransigence; it has flouted with impunity all international appeals, resolutions and demands of vacating the Arab territories.
Malaysia, he said, was totally opposed to acquisition of territory by force, because it considered it illegal and illegitimate.
The annexation of Jerusalem in total disregard and defiance of the world public opinion was a matter of great concern to all the peace-loving countries, he said.
The Malaysian Premier said that so many resolutions were passed asking Israel to vacate aggression, but Tel Aviv's behaviour defies all norms of International behaviour.
Mr. Adam Malik.
Indonesian Foreign Minister Adam Malik said on the second day of the Summit Conference that the present summit provided a "unique" and "golden" opportunity for forging Islamic conference into "collective political force".
He said the deliberations in Lahore also brought about opportunity to work for the "resurgence of Islam and of Islamic brotherhood".
Mr. Adam Malik, who was representing President Suharto of Indonesia at the summit meeting, said peace could be restored in the Middle East only after the "root causes"of the conflict were removed.
He called for vacation of Arab territories occupied by Israeli aggressors and restoration of the right of Palestinian people.
Mr. Malik said it was imperative that Jerusalem was returned to Muslim hands.
He suggested that the Muslim world should initiate a dialogue with the leaders of other religions because Jerusalem was as sacred to the Christians as to the Muslims
"Indeed the liberation of Jerusalem formed part and parcel of the question of the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces", Dr. Adam Malik said.
He said the Muslim world must particularly insist that Israel rescind all measures she had taken to alter the status of Jerusalem.
Referring to the Geneva peace conference at the first round of which a "measure of success" had been achieved, the Indonesian Foreign Miniter called for directing "all our combined efforts, support and solidarity towards making the negotiations an effective instrument in the furtherance of our ultimate goals".
Mr. Malik recounted the encouraging result of the middle East war of October 6 last year.
The Ramazan war had exploded two myths — namely the so called invincibility of Israeli armed forces and the much taunted disunity of the Arab world.
Dr. Adam Malik said the valiant Arab fighters had once again given testimony of their unshakable determination to free their home-lands.
The use of oil as an effective weapon of diplomacy had given a completely new perspective to international economic relations in the world in future throwing light on the "tremendous potential" of unified Arab action in the negotiating field.
Further, it had led to a "feverish search" for a workable peace and brought about rapidly increasing support by developing countries as well as Western European Powers to the cause of peace in the Middle East.
The war, therefore, resulted not only in military success but also in a diplomatic victory', the Indonesian delegation leader said.
Mr. Malik said that President Suharto was paying keen attention to the deliberations in Lahore on "issues so close to hearts of millions of Muslims all over the world and so vital to the cause of Islamic solidarity and brotherhood".
Mr. Yasser Arafat.
Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, declared at the closing session of the Summit Conference that the joint and concerted struggle of the Muslim world would bring an early victory for the subjugated people of Palestine.
In his forceful speech Mr. Arafat called upon the Muslims of the world to forge a united front for the liberation of the Holy City of Jerusalem which, he said, was a cradle of spiritualism.
Expressing his gratitude to the ' people of Pakistan and Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto for convening the conference, he said, it was all the more gratifying to see that the call for the unity among the Muslims had been given from the city of Lahore which had been a seat of Islamic glory and heritage.
The PLO leader traced the events that led to the foisting of the alien State of Israel on the Arab soil and said that the Israelis had subjected the Arab population to all type of inhuman treatment.
He said that during the past year, all sorts of atrocities were perpetrated on the people of Palestine but they have not yielded to the Israeli subjugation.
The heroic people of Palestine, he said, had kept the standard of freedom struggle high and passed it on from one generation to the other
He said that the "torch of Islamic brotherhood" should be kept aflame to humble the forces of darkness and tyranny.
He urged the Islamic States to lend their full support to the struggling people of Palestine who, he said, would always remain in the vanguard to liberate their homeland from the Israeli occupation.
The Chairman of the Palestinan Liberation Organisation (PLO) Mr. Yasser Arafat presented a model of the Holy Dome of the Rock (place of ascension of the Holy Prophet, peace be on him), to Prime Minster Bhutto as a tribute for the efforts made by him in making the second Islamic summit a great success.
Mr. Arafat moved a resolution in the open session of the Summit, paying tributes to Premier Bhutto in making the Summit successful and to the Pakistan Government for making excellent arrangements for it.
The resolution was unanimously adopted by the Summit. He then went to Mr. Bhutto with the model and presented it to him amidst great applause by the delegates. Mr. Bhutto and Mr. Arafat embraced each other. The Prime Minister thanked the Palestinian leader for his most sincere gesture.
Patriarch of Antioch.
His Beatitude the Patriarch of Antioch and the East, Elias IV, representing the Christian Churches based in Damascus, described the creation and continuation of the State of Israel on Arab soil as an "act of theft— a base act".
A Leader of an Arab Christian delegation to the Islamic Summit, he said that Christians, not only in the Arab lands but all over the world, considered that the establishment of Israel was a contradiction of the divine rights of the Arab peoples in respect of Jerusalem and Palestine.
He pointed out that the participation of a Christian delegation in the Summit should be seen in the context of relationship between Muslims and Christians. He said that Muslims and Christians were united by belief in the unity of God while .Jews rejected those values, as was evident from the crucifixtion of Jesus Christ.
The Partiarch of Antioch said that Christians all over the world had been raising their voice against Israel and her manipulations to continue their hold over Palestine and Jerusalem. Resentment had been expressed in so many ways and after the Ramagan War in the Middle East. The Christian Churches had initiated a campaign to raise funds from all parts of the country to overcome the after-effects of the war which resulted in destruction of Arab property and lives. The campaign, he said, was still continuing.
The Christian leader said that the Christian view was that the holy city of Jerusalem and Palestine "shall always remain Arab."
Mr. Bhutto winds up the Conference.
Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, speaking at the closing sesision of the Summit Conference, said that the people of Pakistan would give their blood for the cause of Islam whenever they were called upon to do so.
Prime Minister Bhutto said: "We are a poor nation. We may not be able to contribute funds to the economic development of Islamic world but, with Allah as my witness, I declare here today that we, the people of Pakistan, shall give our blood for the cause of Islam."
He said: "We have been facing many difficulties, but these problems are now being overcome. The people of Pakistan are dedicated to the cause of Islamic solidarity.
"The people of Pakistan are the soldiers of Islam and its armies are the armies of Islam. Whenever any occasion rises the Islamic world would never find us wanting in any future conflict.
"Inshallah we shall enter Baitul Maqdis as brothers in arms."
Mr. Bhutto expressed his gratitude to the heads of State and Government from the Muslim countries who accepted the invitation to participate in the second Islamic Summit. They had many problems which they faced internationally in their home, yet they found time to come to Lahore and attend this conference.
He said: "During the last 25 years we have seen the Islamic countries facing many problems. The Middle East in particular has faced many crises. All these problems have step by step and gradually brought us closer."
He said the Muslim world had travelled a long distance duriug the past 25 years and the world could see the difference now. There was time when the Muslim world suffered all kinds of humiliation as a result of poverty afflicting it. The world believed that the Muslims would never rise again.
The Prime Minister said the times had changed for the better now. He had no doubt that the objectives before the Muslim world would be achieved no matter who was pitted against the forces of Islam.
The Prime Minister said, "Pakistan could not make all the arrangements befitting the Muslim Heads of State and Government but "in our heart and souls we wanted to give you reception of brothers which you are and which you always will remain". This evoked prolonged cheers.
He also thanked King Faisal for co-sponsoring the conference and although there were some doubts in the beginning about the conference yet in the end all the problems were overcome and the conference was held.
He said he was sure that the conference had achieved positive results and the time would prove how valuable it had been.
Mr. Bhutto was given a big applause by the delegates when he referred to the participation of Bangladesh in the Summit. He said his conscience would not have been clear if a country of 6.5 crore Muslims had not participated in the conference.
The Lahore Declaration.
The following is the text of the "Declaration of Lahore" adopted by the Second Islamic Summit Conference.
"In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful."
The Kings, Heads of State and Government and representatives of the Republic of Afghanistan, Algerian Democratic and popular Republic State of Behrain, People's Republic of Bangladesh, Republic of Chad, Arab Republic of Egypt, Republic of Gabon, Gambia, Republic of Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Republic of Indonesia, Empire of Iran, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Kingdom of Morocco, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, State of Kuwait, Republic of Londen, Arab Republic of Mali, Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Republic of Niger, Sultanate of Oman, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, People's Democratic Republic of Yemen, State of Qatar, Senegal, Democratic Republic of Somalia, State of Republic of Somalia, Democratic Republic of Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Republic of Tunisia, Republic of Turkey, Republic of Uganda. State of United Arab Emirates, the Yemen Arab Republic, Palestine, represented by the PLO, the Representative of the Republic of Iraq at-tending as an observer, met at the Second Islamic Conference held in Lahore from Feb. 22 to 24, 1974. The Secretary General of Arab League, Delegation of Motamar-Al-Alam-Al-[slam, and Secretary General of Rabita-tul-Alam-Islamia attended as guests.
The Patriarch of Antioch and all the Orient also attended the Summit Conference.
The Kings, Heads of State and Government and the Representatives of the Islamic countries and organizations proclaimed:
1. The conviction that their common faith is an indissoluble bond between their peoples: that the solidarity of the Islamic peoples is based, not on hostility towards any other human communities nor on distinctions of race and culture, but on the positive and eternal precepts of equality, fraternity and dignity of man, freedom from discrimination and exploitation and struggle against oppression and injustice:
2. Their identification with the joint struggle of the peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America for social and economic progress and prosperity of all nations of the world.
3. Their desire that their endeavours in promoting world based on freedom and social justice will be imbued with the spirit of amicability and cooperation with other faiths, in accordance with the tenets of Islam.
4. Their determination to preserve and promote solidarity among Muslim countries, to respect each other's independence and territorial integrity, to refrain from interference in each other's internal affairs, to resolve their differences through peaceful means in a fraternal spirit and wherever possible to utilize the mediatory influence or good offices of fraternal Muslim State or States for such resolution.
5. Their appreciation of the heroic role played by the frontline States and the Palestinian resistance in the Ramazan war as well as of the Arab effort and Muslim solidarity which became more prominent at that decisive stage.
6. Their appreciation for the activities of the Islamic Conference and its Secretariat which will continue to be the vehicle for their dedication in promoting close and fraternal co-operation among themselves and in their other joint endeavours.
Having considered the present situation in the Middle East they declared that:
1. The Arab cause is the cause of all countries, which oppose aggression and will not suffer the use of force to be rewarded by territory or any other gains:
2. Full and effective support should be given to the Arab countries to recover, by all means available, all their occupied lands:
3. The cause of the people of Palestine is the cause of all those who believe in the right of a people to determine its own destiny by itself and by its free will:
4. The restitution of the full national rights of the Palestinian peoples iii their homeland is the essential and fundamental condition for a solution to the Middle East problem and the establishment of lasting peace on the basis of justice.
5. The international community, and particularly those States which sponsored the partition of Palestine in 1947, bear the heavy responsibility to redress the injustice perpetrated on the Palestinian people:
6. Al-Quds is a unique symbol of the Conference of Islam with the sacred divine religions. For more than 1300 years Muslims have held Jerusalem as a trust for all who venerate it. Muslims alone could be its loving and impartial custodians for the simple reason that Muslims alone believe in all the three Prophetic religions rooted in Jerusalem. No agreement, protocol or understanding which postulates the continuance of Israeli occupation of the holy city of Jerusalem or its transfer to any non-Arab sovereignty or makes it the subject of bargaining or concessions will be acceptable to the Islamic countries. Israeli withdrawal from Jerusalem is a paramount and unchangeable prerequisite for lasting peace in the Middle East.
7. The constructive efforts undertaken by the Christian churches all over the world and in the Arab countries, notably in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and Syria to explain the Palestinian question to the international public opinion and to the world religious conference and to solicit their support for Arab sovereignty over Jerusalem and other holy places in Palestine should be appreciated.
8. Any measure taken by Israel to change the character of the occupied Arab territories and in particular, of the holy city of Jerusalem is a flagrant violation of international law and is repugnant to the feelings of the State members of the Islamic Conference and of the Islamic world in general.
Those African and other countries which have taken an honourable and firm position in support of the Arab cause are worthy of the highest appreciation.
The present trends "towards a just peace cannot but concentrate on the root of the question and disengagement cannot be viewed but as a step towards the complete Israeli withdrawal from occupied Arab territories and the full restitution of the national rights of the Palestinian people."
Having considered the world economic situation and in particular that obtaining in the Islamic countries in the light of the addresses made by the Heads of State and Government and specially those made by the President of the summit conference, the President of Algeria and and the President of Libya and realising the need for
I. Eradication of poverty, disease and ignorance from the Islamic countries:
II Ending exploitation of developing countries by the developed countries:
III. Regulating the terms of trade between developed countries and developing countries in the matters of supply of raw materials and import of manufactured goods and know-how:
IV. Ensuring the sovereignty and full control of the developing countries over their natural resources:
V. Mitigating current economic difficulties of the developing countrise due to recent increase in prices:
VI Mutual economic co-operation and solidarity among Muslim countries:
They decided to establish a committee consisting of the representatives and experts of Algeria, Egypt, Kuwait, Libya, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Senegal and United Arab Emirates with powers to co-opt other interested Muslim countries for devising way and means for the attainment of the above objectives and for the welfare of the peoples of the member countries. They directed that the committee should commence its work immediately and submit its proposals to the next conference of Foreign Ministers for immediate consideration and action.
The committee will meet in Jeddah, at the invitation of the Secretary-General who shall fix a date for the meeting not later than one month after the conclusion of the present summit conference. The proposals of the committee shall be submitted.
The Kings, Heads of State and Government and the representatives approved resolutions on Jerusalem, Middle East and Palestinian cause, Muslim Solidarity Fund, Development and international economic relations and other matters. These are annexed to this Declaration and all form an integral part of it.
In furtherance of these and common objectives they direct their representatives at the United Nations and other international bodies to consult together with a view to adopting joint and agreed positions."