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New Canadian PM praises Aga Khan Foundation's work

Friday, 2015, November 6
The Express Tribune with the International New York Times Pakistan
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with AKDN Representative Dr Mahmoud Eboo and Ismaili Council President Malik Talib at the Delegati
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Newly sworn-in Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited on Tuesday a delegation of the Ismaili Imamat and expressed his admiration for the global work carried out by Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).

The Canadian premier met with the President of the Ismaili Council for Canada Malik Talib and the resident representative of the Aga Khan Development Network Dr Mahmoud Eboo. The three discussed areas of collaboration between the government of Canada and the Ismaili Imamat, according to The Ismaili.

Trudeau expressed his deep admiration for the global work of AKDN as well as for Mawlana Hazar Imam and the Ismaili community in Canada.

The AKDN is a group of development agencies which work for the improvement of environment, health, education, architecture, culture, microfinance, rural development, disaster reduction, the promotion of private-sector enterprise and the revitalisation of historic cities.

“Canada is a valued partner of the Ismaili Imamat and has been home to a significant community of Shia Ismaili Muslims for several decades,” Dr Eboo said.

President Talib added, “The Ismaili community looks forward to working closely with Prime Minister Trudeau’s new government in the months and years ahead.”

The PM was sworn into office on Wednesday and promised big changes after nearly a decade of Conservative rule.

Trudeau, 43, kicked off his majority government with some controversy with his decision to name an equal number of men and women to a slimmed-down Cabinet, the first time gender parity has been achieved in Canada’s team of ministers.

“It’s an incredible pleasure for me to be before you here today to present to Canada a cabinet that looks like Canada,” Trudeau told reporters after he was sworn in with his team, which includes immigrants, aboriginals, religious minorities, a quadriplegic and 15 women.

Asked why he felt gender equality in the Cabinet was important, Trudeau said simply: “Because it is 2015.”

Trudeau enjoyed international popularity when pictures of him in traditional South Asian clothes kurta shalwar made the rounds on social media. He has also been spotted eating biryani and visiting mosques. Not to mention that he knows how to pull off some killer bhangra moves.

However, Canada’s youthful leader — slammed as being too inexperienced to govern in campaign attack ads — faces a diverse set of challenges, from bolstering the country’s economy to slashing carbon emissions and ratifying a US-led Pacific free trade pact.

The new Liberal government also has pledged to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees by year’s end, which new Immigration Minister John McCallum said “remains our firm objective,” and to wind down Canada’s combat mission against the Islamic State group.

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