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Ismaili leader Aga Khan begins four-day visit to Bangladesh 2008-05-14

Wednesday, 2008, May 14

Dhaka - Aga Khan, the leader of Ismaili Muslims across the world, arrived in Dhaka on Monday to a rousing welcome at the start of a four-day visit to Bangladesh, officials said. Fakhruddin Ahmed, the de facto prime minister of the interim government, was at the airport along with other senior officials to greet the head of the Ismailis, a group who live as permanent residents in some 25 countries.

The airport was bedecked by flowers and festoons as the Aga Khan stepped down to a red-carpet reception.

Local Ismaili officials said the visit to Bangladesh marked the golden jubilee celebrations of his becoming the Imam of the Ismailis.

The Aga Khan, who enjoys the royal title of Prince as the 49th hereditary Imam of the Shiite Ismaili Muslims, is expected to hold talks with President Iajuddin Ahmad and other government leaders in the caretaker regime.

The highlight of the visit is a foundation stone laying ceremony for an exclusive convention and religious centre in Dhaka for the Ismailis, known as the Jamaat Khana.

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