FIRST VISIT TO FOLLOWERS IN KARACHI - 1957-08-01
Shortly after assuming the reins of Imamat His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan started on a whirlwind tour of Ismailis. Before his auspicious arrival at Karachi, the birth place of his grandfather, in August 1957, Imam-e-Zamam visited Ismaili centres at London and Paris. These visits were marked by memorable scenes of devotion to the spiritual father. The Lebanese Government and the Ismailis of Syria and Lebanon accorded a rousing reception to Moulana Hazar Imam when His Highness's plane had a brief halt at the Beirut airport in the early hours of Sunday the 4th August, in the course of the flying visit to Karachi. The Lebanese Government who came to know of the visit through Mr. Hasan El Fyl and Ismailis of Syria and Lebanon, accorded His Highness a Royal Welcome usually extended only to Head of States and deputed Mr. Izzat Khorchid to receive His Highness on behalf of the Government and Senator Abdulla Al-Haj made a speech of welcome. Over 600 Ismailis of Syria and Lebanon, including Mr. Amir Ahmed Mirza, Agent to His Highness, Mr. Hasan El Fyl, Mr. Amir Mustafa Mirza, ex-Minister of Syria and other prominent Ismaili leaders had assembled at the airport to extend their Imam a most affectionate welcome to their country. Mr. Hasan El Fyl had specially sent his son Mr. Abdul Hamid Fyl to Bombay to request His Highness to pay a longer visit to the Capitals of Syria and Lebanon on His Highness's next visit. At Karachi Moulana Hazar Imam said: 'You all know that my grandfather was one of the founders of Pakistan. He, his associates and his co-workers struggled mightily for the establishment of this country. He always had the profoundest faith in the destiny of Pakistan. Those views and that faith are mine. This country is in my heart, for as you all know my beloved grandfather was born here'.
After a short stay at Karachi and a brief tour of East Pakistan and Bombay, Moulana Hazar Imam went to Africa to meet the Jamats. At the Aden airport in a course of interview to the press he said: 'Muslims in Pakistan are progressing very well. Refugee problem is becoming colossal. Karachi which had a population of two lacs has now more than 20 lacs inhabitants. It is not easy to provide for them all'. On 30th September 1957, in a message to the editor of the Student' published from Karachi he said: 'I am very glad to see that your paper takes its role as the students' organisation for Pakistan very seriously. The influence you and the Pakistani students play in the future of your great country will be ever on the increase, and the responsibility for the progress of this great nation lies heavily on the shoulders of the rising generation'.
With my best wishes for continued success in your serious enterprise'.