Posted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 3:53 am Post subject: CENTRAL ASIA VISIT 2009
Aga Khan to arrive in Tajikistan to openTthe Ismaili Center in Dushanbe
Author: Avaz Yuldoshev
DUSHANBE, October 1, 2009, Asia-Plus -- His Highness the Aga Khan, Imam (spiritual leader) of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, will pay a visit to Tajikistan on October 9-12, according to the MFA information department.
During his stay in Dushanbe, His Highness the Ag Khan will take part at a ceremony of inauguration of The Ismaili Center here.
His Highness the Aga Khan is also scheduled to hold talks with President Emomali Rahmon and a number of other high-ranking Tajik state officials to discuss cooperation between the Government of Tajikistan and the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).
The Aga Khan will also visit Khorog, the administrative center of the Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO or Gorno Badakhshan).
We will recall that that the groundbreaking ceremony for construction of the Ismaili Center in Dushanbe was held on August 30, 2003. The foundation stone of The Ismaili Center, Dushanbe was laid by Tajiki President Emomali Rahmon.
Calling it "a place where people will come together to share their creativity and their wisdom," the Aga Khan said the Center would "recognize and promote the plurality of traditions and forms of expression to which Central Asia has been a welcoming home and eminent crossroads over the centuries." Addressing a distinguished gathering including national and civic leaders and diplomats, the Aga Khan expressed the hope that the Center would "play a role in reminding the world of a fact, alas, too often ignored or misunderstood: that Central Asian traditions of spirituality and learning have had a lasting and positive impact on civilizations far beyond their own." The Center, the Aga Khan said, would be "a place for contemplation, upliftment and the search for spiritual enlightenment."
The Aga Khan situated the purposes of the Center in the context of recent history. "Like its neighbors," he said, "Tajikistan is in a stage of profound transition which brings in its wake its own share of trials and tribulations, calling upon the nation's reserves of patience, courage and foresight." Recognizing especially the impact of economic globalization and the spread and growth of new knowledge and technology, the Aga Khan underlined the need for "societies to enhance their capacities to adjust, adapt, innovate and invest." Referring to the various endeavors of the network of development agencies that he had established, the Aga Khan noted that in addition to the role of the private sector in economic development, "a richly diverse yet purposefully united citizenry is capable of making a critical contribution to social development in the struggle against poverty." The Center," he said, "would stand for the ethics that uphold the dignity of man as the noblest of Creation. It will bring down the walls that divide and build bridges that unite." "These," he commented, "are the ethics that inspire the work of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN)."
Prince Aga Khan IV on visit to Tajikistan
9 October 2009, 18:12
CA-NEWS (TJ) - Prince Aga Khan IV has started his four-day visit to Tajikistan on Friday, the Tajik Foreign Ministry said.
Prince Aga Khan IV is expected to meet Tajik Foreign Minister Zarifi, and other government officials. He will visit Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast, where he will meet with local government officials.
He will also attend the official opening ceremony of the Aga Khan Foundation Cultural Center in Dushanbe.
DUSHANBE, October 10, 2009, Asia-Plus -- His Highness the Aga Khan, Imam (spiritual leader) of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, arrived in Tajikistan Friday evening for a three-day visit.
Davlat Nazriyev, the head of the MFA information department, told Asia-Plus that today, His Highness the Aga Khan would visit Khorog. On October 11, the Aga Khan will take part at a ceremony of inauguration of The Ismaili Center in Dushanbe.
His Highness the Aga Khan is also scheduled to hold talks with President Emomali Rahmon and a number of other high-ranking Tajik state officials to discuss cooperation between the Government of Tajikistan and the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).
The visit of His Highness the Aga Khan to Tajikistan will conclude on October 12
We will recall that the groundbreaking ceremony for construction of the Ismaili Center in Dushanbe was held on August 30, 2003. The foundation stone of The Ismaili Center, Dushanbe was laid by President Emomali Rahmon.
Calling it "a place where people will come together to share their creativity and their wisdom," the Aga Khan said the Center would "recognize and promote the plurality of traditions and forms of expression to which Central Asia has been a welcoming home and eminent crossroads over the centuries." The Aga Khan expressed the hope that the Center would "play a role in reminding the world of a fact, alas, too often ignored or misunderstood: that Central Asian traditions of spirituality and learning have had a lasting and positive impact on civilizations far beyond their own." The Center, the Aga Khan said, would be "a place for contemplation, upliftment and the search for spiritual enlightenment."
Mawlana Hazar Imam opens "a park for all seasons" in the Khorog city centre http://www.theismaili.org/cms/871/spinner
Also see the photo gallery and coverage at the AKDN website, including Mawlana Hazar Imam's speech and the press release.
Children welcome Mawlana Hazar Imam upon his arrival in Khorog, the capital of Tajikistan's Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast. Photo: Gary Otte
Khorog, Tajikistan, 10 October 2009 — A newly revitalised Khorog Park was inaugurated today by First Deputy Prime Minister Asadullo Gulomov of the Republic of Tajikistan, in the presence of Mawlana Hazar Imam. The Park is a significant new green space that will serve the residents of the capital of the Gorno-Badakhshan autonomous region in Tajikistan.
Situated at the centre of Khorog, the Park is located in a bend of the Gunt River, and includes a river promenade, a pond, a children's play area, a restaurant and teahouse, and an open-air theatre.
"Access to green spaces is clearly an important value for the residents of Khorog," observed Mawlana Hazar Imam. He envisioned the Park as a place in which families would come together and spend quality time. It is to be "a place of continuity — playing an intimate role from the earliest weeks of a child's life until that child grows to become a grown-up with his or her own family."
Mawlana Hazar Imam arrives at Khorog Park together with the First Deputy Prime Minister of Tajikistan and the Governor of Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast. They are accompanied by the General Manager of te Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the AKDN Resident Representative for Tajikistan. Photo: Gary Otte
It is also "a park for all seasons," he said, with "music and dance and other cultural events" in the open-air theatre, "swimming in the summer" and "skating in the winter." It will transform itself "to capture the particular beauty of each particular time of the year."
The land on which the Park is built was gifted to Mawlana Hazar Imam at the occasion of the 40th anniversary of his Imamat. The Aga Khan Trust for Culture consulted extensively with the people of Khorog to ensure its design would meet the local population's needs and reflect its aspirations. Construction and rehabilitation began in 2005 and was completed earlier this year.
"The development of Khorog City Park has been a cooperative response in many respects," said Mawlana Hazar Imam. He added that it is "one of the earliest symbols of the processes of change for which I hope and pray in this region." He described its inauguration is a prelude to further cooperative development projects between the Ismaili Imamat and authorities in Khorog and the wider region, citing progress in the Khorog campus of the University of Central Asia and the possibility of enhancing the capacity of the Khorog airport.
Everyone enjoys a moment of happiness following the unveiling of the plaque marking the inauguration of Khorog Park. Photo: Gary Otte
The ceremony was also attended by the Governor of Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast, Qodir Qosim, and the Governor of Afghanistan's Badakhshan Province, Alhaj Bazmuhammad Ahmadi. Princess Zahra, Prince Hussain and Princess Khaliya, who accompanied Hazar Imam to Khorog were also present.
While in Khorog, Mawlana Hazar Imam also met with the Governor of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast. Hazar Imam's visit to Khorog is part of a three-day visit to Tajikistan, during which he is also expected to preside over the inauguration of the Ismaili Centre, Dushanbe, and meet with senior government officials.
Mawlana Hazar Imam, the First Deputy Prime Minister of Tajikistan, the Governor of Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast and AKDN Resident Representative Munir Merali tour Khorog Park, taking in its man-made features and natural delights. Photo: Gary Otte
Remarks by His Highness the Aga Khan at the Inauguration of Khorog City Park
Your Excellency, First Deputy Prime Minister, Asadullo Gulomov
Your Excellency, Chairman of Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast, Qodiri Qosim
Your Excellency, Governor of Afghan Badakhshan, Alhaj Bazmuhammad Ahmadi
Today’s inaugural ceremony marks the culmination of a wonderful process - stretching back over more than a decade.
I am honored and humbled to remember that the site where we meet today was graciously presented to me by the then Chairman on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of my Imamat. Then, some five years ago, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture began a rich and productive conversation about this site with the people of Khorog. We talked about how we might create a new and upgraded park in this place - what it would try to do - how it might be used – and what it should ideally look like.
Those conversations quickly fixed on one central goal: to offer all those who would enter here a place for personal reflection, for genuine relaxation, and for deep renewal. Our objective from the start was to ensure that this would always be a tranquil green space - serving all of the people who live in Khorog - and all of those who visit this city.
The development of Khorog City Park has been a cooperative response in many respects. Access to green spaces is clearly an important value for the residents of Khorog. Our vision for the Park is that visitors will truly think of the time they spend here as “quality time” - in the fullest sense of that word - moments in their lives during which their spirits will be deeply enriched, hours filled with experiences that they will both enjoy and remember as times of blessing.
That will happen in part because of the music and dance and other cultural events that will be presented here - especially in the new open-air theatre. It will happen in part because of the group discussions and lively conversations that will take place here - and the children who will play here - swimming in the summer, for example, and skating in the winter. It will happen in part because of the great celebrations that will take place here - including holiday ceremonies and festivals. And it will also happen because this will be a wonderful setting for individual reflection and contemplation - inspired by the beauty of this place - including the sounds and the sight of running water - in itself a mysterious, ever-changing and always-inspiring natural force. We see Khorog Park as a place of continuity - playing an intimate role from the earliest weeks of a child’s life until that child grows to become a grown-up with his or her own family. And we also see it as a place of change - a park for all seasons of the annual calendar - transforming itself to capture the particular beauty of each particular time of the year.
The Park is not only a place of beauty to be enjoyed by many generations of future citizens and visitors to Khorog, it is also one of the earliest symbols of the processes of change for which I hope and pray in this region. As one example of this process, and in close collaboration with the Governments of Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, we took the decision to build a new university to serve the high mountain peoples of these three countries and the region more generally. Toward that end, we are pleased that work is progressing on creating the Tajik campus of this university here in Khorog.
In addition, the amazing beauty of this area of the Pamirs, along with the presence of the university, will surely attract more and more visitors to come to this city in the future. In order to address this new development, we are planning, in collaboration with the central Government and the Government of the Oblast, significantly to enhance the capabilities of Khorog airport, so that regular air transport can become a normal feature for those who wish to visit.
The new patterns of visitation will also require new residential capacities, and it is our intention to build a new quality hotel in Khorog while also encouraging the construction of other hotels and leisure facilities, such as restaurants.
You may also know that the Aga Khan Trust for Culture has recently completed a comprehensive town planning report to present to your government - and is preparing now for the second stage of that planning exercise.
I mention all of these initiatives to give the peoples of Badakhshan, both from here and from across the river, a sense of confidence that there will be new opportunities in the years ahead to benefit from an improved quality of life, to find stable and remunerative employment, to have access to quality education and health care.
Throughout this part of the world, one reflection of how the natural environment is revered and hallowed has been the importance accorded to Green Spaces, like the one we celebrate today. This quality has been a central part of Tajik and Central Asian culture - down through the centuries. I recall, for example, how the poet Saeb Tabrizi, wrote about beautiful gardens, in any season - and in every season – saying that they are places where even “the morning dew awaits with expectant eyes and heart.”
It is indeed with “expectant eyes and heart” that all of us gather here today to inaugurate on an official basis, the Khorog City Park. It is in that spirit that I join with you in celebrating the contribution which the Park will make to the quality of life in this community - for many years and many decades to come.
Tajik president, Aga Khan inaugurate The Ismaili Center in Dushanbe
Author: Payrav Chorshanbiyev
DUSHANBE, October 12, 2009, Asia-Plus -- President Emomali Rahmon and His Highness the Aga Khan, the Spiritual Leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, officially opened The Ismaili Center in Dushanbe today afternoon.
The opening ceremony was attended by high-ranking Tajik state officials.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, President Rahmon expressed hope that the Center would promote further mutually beneficial cooperation between the Government of Tajikistan and the Aga Khan Development Network (AKD).
His Highness the Aga Khan, for his part, hailed policy of Tajik leader aimed at strengthening of religious pluralism in the country. Opening of The Ismaili Center that is built in the center of the Tajik capital is evidence of that, His Highness the Aga Khan noted.
The Ismaili Center Dushanbe is the sixth such institution in the world and the first in the Central Asian region. Beginning in 1984, major Ismaili Centers have been established in London, Vancouver, Lisbon, Toronto and Dubai. Like other Ismaili Centers, The Ismaili Center in Dushanbe is dedicated to enhance the process of understanding and exchange.
We will recall that the groundbreaking ceremony for construction of the Ismaili Center in Dushanbe was held on August 30, 2003. Calling it "a place where people will come together to share their creativity and their wisdom," the Aga Khan said on August 30, 2003 that through the facilities, which they offer for lectures, presentations, conferences, recitals and exhibitions, alone or in collaboration with other national or international entities, the Ismaili Centers have become important cultural institutions.
His Highness the Aga Khan arrived in Tajikistan on October 9 and is leaving the country today evening.
His Highness the Aga Khan arrives in Kyrgyzstan
12/10-2009 11:45, Bishkek – News Agency “24.kg”, By Yulia LIPOVICH
His Highness the Aga Khan, Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, founder and Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) arrives in Kyrgyzstan today from Tajikistan. The Aga Khan's visit to the Kyrgyz Republic will focus on new initiatives in financial services, poverty alleviation, education and culture. While in Kyrgyzstan the highest guest is expected to meet with President Kurmanbek Bakiev, Prime Minister Igor Chudinov, Foreign Minister Kadyrbek Sarbaev and Finance Minister Marat Sultanov to discuss the impact of the global recession on local economies as well as issues of regional stability, in particular, Afghanistan.
President Rahmon, Aga Khan express interest in further expansion of cooperation between Tajikistan and AKDN
Author: Avaz Yuldoshev
DUSHANBE, October 12, 2009, Asia-Plus -- On Sunday October 11, President Emomali Rahmon met here with His Highness the Aga Khan, the Spiritual Leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, according to presidential press service.
In the course of the talks, the sides discussed issues related to state and prospects of further expansion of cooperation between Tajikistan and the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).
His Highness the Aga Khan informed President Rahmon of his visit to Khorog, the capital of the Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (Gorno Badakhshan or GBAO) and expressed satisfaction with the process of implementation of the AKDN-supported projects in Tajikistan.
Both sides expressed interest in further expansion of cooperation between Tajikistan and AKDN.
The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) was founded by His Highness the Aga Khan, 49th Hereditary Imam (spiritual leader) of the Ismaili Muslims. It is a group of private, non-denominational development agencies working to empower communities and individuals to improve living conditions and opportunities, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East. The Network’s nine development agencies focus on social, cultural and economic development for all citizens, regardless of gender, origin or religion. The AKDN’s underlying ethic is compassion for the vulnerable in society. Its annual budget for philanthropic activity is in excess of US$450 million.
Dushanbe mayor, Aga Khan to discuss process of construction of Serena Hotel in Dushanbe
Author: Avaz Yuldoshev
DUSHANBE, October 12, 2009, Asia-Plus -- Dushanbe Mayor Mahmadsaid Ubaidulloyev is meeting with His Highness the Aga Khan, the Spiritual Leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslims and Founder of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), here today morning.
According to press service of the Dushanbe mayor’s office, the sides will discuss cooperation between the Dushanbe mayor’s office and AKDN, including the Dushanbe Serena Hotel project issues.
Mayor Ubaidulloyev and his Highness the Aga Khan are also expected to discuss a number of other projects that are planned to be implemented in the Tajik capital under financial support of the AKDN.
We will recall that President Emomali Rahmon laid the foundation stone of the Dushanbe Serena Hotel in the presence of His Highness the Aga Khan on October 30, 2006.
The Dushanbe Serena Hotel, a US$25million project whose 120 units will range from luxury rooms to long-stay apartments, will incorporate conference and shopping facilities, restaurants and a roof-top recreation centre and swimming pool. The hotel, to be managed by Tourism Promotion Services (a subsidiary of Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development) is being developed following a design from the award-winning architectural firm, ARCOP, a Montreal-based firm.
When completed, the Dushanbe Serena Hotel will join several Serena properties across the region to help strengthen tourism development in areas rich in cultural sites, physical attractions and economic opportunity. These include Serena units in Kabul, Afghanistan, and at Islamabad, Quetta, Faisalabad, Gilgit and Swat in Pakistan.
Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 5:26 am Post subject: Speech at Opening Ceremony of the Ismaili Centre, Dushanbe
Speech at the Opening Ceremony of the Ismaili Centre, Dushanbe
Speech by Mawlana Hazar Imam
At the Opening Ceremony of
The Ismaili Centre, Dushanbe
Monday, 12 October 2009
Your Excellency President Rahmon,
Your Worship the Mayor of Dushanbe,
It is a great honour for me to welcome you to this inauguration ceremony. I am deeply pleased to greet President Rahmon, who was here when together we laid the Foundation Stone for this building five years ago, and who has long been a steadfast supporter of the Centre project. The same thing is true of the Civic Authorities of Dushanbe, and we are also honoured to welcome His Worship, Mayor Ubaidullaev.
It is also a distinct pleasure to look out upon this audience and to greet so many other leaders, from so many walks of society. Your very presence here invests this occasion with special meaning, for you truly represent the broad diversity of this country — and your participation attests to the importance of pluralism in Tajik life.
We have looked forward to this event for a long time. And now that this day of dedication has come, let me also extend our warmest gratitude to everyone whose contributions have made this vision a reality. We salute those who have donated their time and talent and material resources to this project, including those who designed, constructed and decorated this building and its surroundings. You have created a remarkable building that will enhance the cityscape of Dushanbe, just as it reflects and re-interprets the materials and colours and inspiring landscapes of other iconic buildings of the larger region.
The Tajik Ismaili community has roots in this region that extend back more than a thousand years, as long ago as the second century of Islam. The community holds a recognised and admired position in the history of human endeavour here, contributing some of the greatest names in the fields of theology, philosophy, poetry and the sciences. This new Centre will be a place for looking back on that rich and powerful history in grateful and solemn remembrance. It will be a place, as well, for peaceful contemplation of the spirit, and of the world, as we live our lives in the present moment. And it will be a place to think about the future and how this profound heritage can shape and inform tomorrow’s world. This Centre aspires to give physical form and spiritual space for pursuing all of these objectives.
As we look around us today, we are reminded of other times down through history when a variety of cultures and traditions have come together happily in this land. It is inspiring to remember how enriching encounters of ideas and viewpoints have so often prevailed against opposing forces of ignorance and prejudice. The remarkable flowering of human talent here has owed much to the pluralism of Tajik society. I am proud, in noting just one reflection of that tradition, that this Centre is located in a neighbourhood that celebrates the great names of Ismoili Somoni and Rudaki.
The continuing pluralism of human endeavour will be manifested in the life of this Centre. It will be reflected in an array of exciting activities, serving people of many different backgrounds. The Centre will have a space for congregational gathering, just like the array of Ismaili Centres in major cities across the world, both those which are now being developed and those that already exist, from London to Vancouver and Lisbon to Dubai. In addition, we hope and trust that people of all faiths and background will gather here for educational and cultural events — for seminars, lectures, recitals and exhibitions. We will seek to demonstrate that spiritual insight and worldly knowledge are not separate or opposing realms, but that they must always nourish one another, and that the world of faith and the material world are the dual responsibilities of humankind.
In recent years, the people and the leaders of this region have been called upon to manage a sometimes turbulent transition, from a time of seeming certainties to a still unfolding era of open horizons and changing opportunities. The Holy Qur’an calls upon Muslims to compete in good works, and just as the Ismailis have done for centuries in this lovely land, we will uphold that responsibility in service to the Tajikistan of today and tomorrow.
One of the beauties of ceremonies like this one is that they link us to people in other places — and to people of other ages. I remember, to mention just one example, how the 1000th anniversary of the birth of Syedna Nasir-i-Khusraw coincided with our foundation stone ceremony five years ago. It is a tribute to Tajik culture that the legacy of such figures, even from the distant past, is held in such high esteem, promoting a strong sense of history and a strong spirit of social harmony.
This ethic of connectivity with others has deep spiritual roots — in Islam as for other faiths. It stems ultimately from humankind’s sense of humility in the presence of the Divine. In this light, human diversity itself is seen as a gift of Allah, cultural differences are embraced as a blessing, and different interpretations of faith are seen as a mercy, one that nourishes the Ummah’s vast identity, and its constructive interface with society at large.
In this spirit, it is our prayer that the Centre will always radiate an inviting mood of friendship to one and all, proclaiming Islam’s message of one humanity, and joining its voice with so many other voices in this city and this country in affirming our shared responsibility for advancing the common good.
Bakiev: Kyrgyzstan assigns high priority to construction of Central Asian University in Naryn
13/10-2009 12:44, Bishkek – News Agency “24.kg”
Kyrgyzstan assigns high priority to construction of the Central Asian University in Naryn, the president of Kyrgyzstan, Kurmanbek Bakiev, said meeting with His Highness Prince Aga Khan IV in the White House on Tuesday.
“The construction goes on quickly and opening of the university will contribute to development of our education system,” presidential press service quoted as the president said.
The head of the state promised to support implementation of the Aga Khan Development Network’s projects on micro-financing, development of entrepreneurship in private sector, improvement of medical and educational services and development of tourism.
Kyrgyzstan has started cooperating with the Aga Khan Development Network in February 2005. And today the network implements projects in such spheres as poverty reduction in rural areas, education, health care, micro-financing, development of small businesses, infrastructure, tourism, banking and cultural revival.
According high priority on Education in Central Asia
Quaisar Alam, New Delhi
Education has been the “call of the humanity” in making for the right reasons to live, right from time immemorial. In the contemporary world, the country which has lacked in education has never been on the progressive radar of the international community.
Probably, this is the reason; Kyrgyzstan assigns high priority to construction of the Central Asian University in Naryn. The president of Kyrgyzstan, Kurmanbek Bakiev, said in meeting with his Highness Prince Aga Khan-IV in the White House on Tuesday.
“The construction goes on quickly and opening of the university will contribute to development of our educational system,” presidential press service quoted the president.
Kyrgyzstan is in the process of starting cooperation with the Aga Khan Development Network’s projects on micro-financing, improvement of medical and educational services, development of tourism, cultural revival, infra structure and development of small business.
The establishment of Central Asian University will definitely pave the way for the better prospects and future understanding of the modern education in the religiously ridden countries as some analysts never tire in saying. And western media paint it as the religiously resurgence and hardly in tandem with the contemporary values. But probably, this will help in shaping the modern thoughts of the region
Mawlana Hazar Imam and President Rahmon share a joyful moment, following the unveiling of the plaque marking the inauguration of the Ismaili Centre, Dushanbe. Photo: Gary Otte
The Ismaili Centre, Dushanbe was opened on 12 October 2009 by His Excellency Emomali Rahmon, President of the Republic of Tajikistan, in the presence of Mawlana Hazar Imam. It was the first such Centre in Central Asia and the fifth in the world.
Press release and speech
•Speech made by Mawlana Hazar Imam during the Opening Ceremony
Aga Khan discusses Pakistan’s economic, social uplift with Zardari
Posted by gecanews on October 13, 2009
By Our Special Reporter
ISLAMABAD, Oct 13: Prince Karim Aga Khan, founder of the Aga Khan Development Network and spiritual leader of the Ismaili community, here on Tuesday met with President Asif Ali Zardari and discussed matters of mutual interest, including economic and social development of the country.
His Highness Prince Aga Khan discusses economic and development issues with Presidents Asif Ali Zardari at the Aiwan-i-Sadar in Islamabad on Tuesday.
The two leaders discussed possibilities of cooperation in communication links between Pakistan and Central Asian states.
Sources told GBT that President Zardari sought help of the Aga Khan in the construction of Pak-Tajikistan road through Chitral.
The two leaders also discussed the possibility of cooperation in developing education city in Karachi.
The meeting was also attended by Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting and Acting Governor of Gilgit-Baltistan, Qamar Zaman Kaira as well as representatives of the Aga Khan Development Network.
Earlier on his arrival at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport from Tajikstan, the Aga Khan was received by Mr Kaira and the Aga Khan National Council for Pakistan president Iqbal Waljee and other officials.
In Tajikstan the Aga Khan and Tajik Deputy Prime Minister Asadullo Gulomov inaugurated an urban park in Khorog, the main city of mountainous Gorno-Badakshan Automomous Oblast (province).
“The park is not only a place of beauty to be enjoyed by many generations of future citizens and visitors to Khorog,” said the Aga Khan, “it is also one of the earliest symbols of the processes of change for which I hope and pray in this region.”
Interim Governor of Gilgit-Baltistan Qamar Zaman Kaira and The Aga Khan National Council President Iqbal Waljee recieve Prince Aga Khan on his arrival at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport on Tuesday.
The revitalization of the $4 million Khorog Park, the main municipal green space, was undertaken over the last five years by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), in collaboration with the Governorate of GBAO.
The first phase of the park construction was completed in 2007. The project has created 65 jobs and employed an additional 120 people during the five years of construction. Forty people were trained in stone masonry during this period. Local sourcing of construction materials has also had a significant impact on the local economy.
ISLAMABAD, Oct 13 (APP): President Asif Ali Zardari has appreciated the social welfare activities of Agha Khan Foundation for poverty alleviation and the establishment of the first micro finance bank. He was talking to Prince Karim Agha Khan, who is on a- two-day visit to Pakistan, who called on the President at the Presidency on Tuesday.
President Zardari said that government will continue to work with the Agha Khan Rural Support Programme for poverty alleviation projects in Gilgit-Baltistan.
He said that the government was keen to exploit the economic potential of Gilgit-Baltistan and would like to work with Agha Khan Foundation to revive and expand tourism industry for the prosperity of the poor people of the region.
The President also briefed Agha Khan on the proposed road linking Pakistan with Tajikistan via Afghanistan.
He said that during his recent visit to Tajikistan, an MoU was signed between the two governments for building a road link through Afghanistan.
Out of the four possible choices, the one linking Chitral to Eshkashem, a Tajik town near Afghanistan border, through Dura Pass was considered most feasible, he said.
Agha Khan was also briefed on the proposed new education city near Karachi.
Prince Agha Khan evinced keen interest in both these projects and said that they will have a very positive impact on the people of the area.
The President also briefed Agha Khan on the situation in the region.
Prince Karim Agha Khan, who last visited Islamabad in December last year, appreciated the government efforts for the socio economic development of its people.
Govt focusing special attention for poverty alleviation of Gilgit-Baltistan: President Zardari
ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari has elaborated that the Government has seeking different measures to remove poverty from Gilgit-Baltistan.
According to details President Asif Ali Zardari held a meeting with Prince Agha Khan here Tuesday in the Presidency and discussed views regarding development and progress in Gilgit-Baltistan.
During the meeting President Asif Ali Zardari also underlined that Government of Pakistan has focused to work in cooperation of Agha Khan rural program for the development and progress of Gilgit-Baltistan and in this connection every possible measure would be observe to alleviate poverty from this area.
Aga Khan Consults with Presidents of Afghanistan,
Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan and Tajikistan; Reviews AKDN Projects
Central Asia, 14 October 2009 - In a short trip to the region, His Highness the Aga Khan reviewed progress on AKDN projects in Afghanistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan and Tajikistan and met with President Zardari of Pakstan, President Karzai of Afghanistan and President Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan.
Click on thumbnails to enlarge photographs or view slide show.
His Highness the Aga Khan and President Zardari discuss matters of mutual interest including economic and social development of the country, during the Aga Khan's two-day visit to Pakistan.
Photo credit: AKDN/Gary Otte
His Highness the Aga Khan is seen in conversation with Qamar Zaman Kaira, Federal Minister for Information & Broadcasting and Acting Governor Gilgit-Baltistan at the Chaklala Air Base during his departure from Pakistan on 14 October 2009.
Photo credit: AKDN/Gary Otte
His Highness the Aga Khan addresses the media during his two-day visit to Pakistan. In his statement, the Aga Khan stated that he had completed a visit to Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and later during the day was visiting Afghanistan to get a sense of the issues at stake and the progress that AKDN was making in different activities in the region.
Photo credit: AKDN/Gary Otte
His Excellency Kurmanbek Bakiev, President of the Kyrgyz Republic, meeting with His Highness the Aga Khan in Bishkek.
Photo credit: AKDN/Gary Otte
His Highness the Aga Khan meeting with His Excellency Emomali Rahmon, President of the Republic of Tajikistan,.
Mowlana Hazar Imam arrived on 9th Ocober to Dushanbe at 6:30 pm. The Jamat was on the road from Airport to the dacha [State House]
On 10th October at 10:30am He departed for Khorog to open the park. The LIF members went also to Khorog. He came back at 6:00pm
On 11 Oct at 2pm, the Imam visited the Serena Hotel still in construction, accompanied by Prince Hussein, Princess Khaliya, and Princess Zahra. About 4,000 Ismailis were waiting eagerly to see the Imam from 11am. When the Imam left at 3:15pm, He opened His tinted car window and waved at the Jamat, all the way. he proceeded then to visit the Ismaili Centre at 3:30pm were 1,500 Ismailis were waiting for Him since 11:30am.
Mowla was very happy as he left at 4:30 and again he completely opened the window of his car to wave at the Jamat.
On 12th October 2009 about 8,000 Ismailis gathered on the road near the Ismaili Centre starting at 10am. Hazar Imam arrived at 2:30pm with Prince Hussein, Princess Khaliya and Princess Zahra. They waited for the Tajik President, Rahmon who soon arrived with his motorcade. The President left at 4:45pm after the opening ceremony.
Mowla stayed up to 5:45 and when he left, he again waved to all waiting for a glimpse. He left for Kyrgistan at 6:20pm.
ISLAMABAD, Oct 14, 2009 (APP): Federal Minster for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira went to see off Prince Karim Agha Khan at Chklala Airbase Wednesday. Prince Karim visited Pakistan to review the development projects being undertaken by Aga Khan Development Foundation across the country.
Two months after Afghans voted in controversial presidential elections,
electoral authorities are expected to announce on Saturday if they have a
winner or if another poll is needed.
Officials in Kabul dismissed a US media report that a run-off will be called
as President Hamid Karzai's share of the vote had dropped below the
50-percent victory threshold with the cancellation of fraudulent ballots
cast for him.
But they said that Afghan politicians and their international backers have
been involved in days of vigorous horse-trading in the hope of averting a
run-off, which many fear could further destabilise the fragile country.
Afghanistan's August 20 election has been overshadowed by allegations of
fraud, mostly against Karzai, including findings by EU observers that a
quarter of all votes, or 1.5 million, were suspicious.
Karzai leads preliminary results with around 55 percent of the vote. He
needs 50 percent plus one vote to be declared the winner.
His main rival Abdullah Abdullah has around 28 percent.
An official announcement is to be made by the Independent Election
Commission (IEC), widely regarded as pro-Karzai, which acts on the orders of
the UN-approved Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC).
The ECC should send its order, based on the findings of investigations into
ballot-stuffing allegations, to the IEC on Saturday, an ECC source told AFP,
adding that the IEC is constitutionally bound to obey.
But some officials expressed concern late Friday that the two bodies were
still wrangling over details, which could delay the IEC's announcement.
The Washington Post reported that Karzai's share of the vote had dropped to
47 percent after thousands of suspicious ballots were investigated by the
"There is no way anyone can make that prediction and stand it up, it is just
so close," said a Western diplomat familiar with the process.
"Karzai is hovering around 50 percent and the feeling is that he could just
This week has seen international efforts to broker a deal between Karzai and
Abdullah to avoid both a run-off and any outbreak of violence.
Influential visitors to Kabul included the Aga Khan, leader of a minority
Islamic sect and one of the world's wealthiest men, whom one European
diplomat described as the biggest single aid donor to Afghanistan.
His followers account for about six percent of the national vote.
Former US ambassador to Iraq and Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, met Karzai
and Abdullah in what diplomats interpreted as an effort to bind the two into
a coalition government.
Khalilzad told reporters that "Afghan leaders" had been urged "to recognise
the importance of the moment and seize it" as Western governments debate
their continued military and financial commitment.
"The Afghan people should not assume that the international community will
stay here regardless and indefinitely," he said.
Abdullah has said he will not accept a post in a Karzai government if the
president is found to have won a new term through corrupt means, but during
the week appeared to soften his stance.
Diplomats have said Abdullah has used the election campaign and aftermath to
position himself as a future player and that, aged 48, he has a potentially
long political career ahead of him.
A Western official familiar with the negotiations said discussions were
focusing on whether the Afghan constitution allows a coalition government to
be formed to avoid a run-off.
Constitutionally, a second round should be held within two weeks of the
announcement, and experts say it would have to be held quickly as winter
snows will soon make large parts of the country impassable.
Preparations have been made, with ballot papers printed in London and
indelible ink waiting in Kabul to be sent to polling stations.
But there are concerns that a new vote would attract even fewer voters than
the first, which saw overall turnout of lower than 40 percent -- five
percent in some troubled regions -- after a fearsome Taliban campaign kept
people away from polling stations.
Pashtun tribal leaders in the south -- heartland of Karzai's support as well
as Taliban influence -- said this week they would not vote a second time
because the government had proved itself incapable of providing security.
Some observers see a run-off as the only way to salvage credibility for the
election, which has highlighted corruption in Karzai's government as US
President Barack Obama mulls whether to send more troops to the country.
Senior figures from across the political spectrum gathered for the opening of an Ismaili centre in the Tajik capital this week.
Shahodat Saibnazarova filed a report from the opening ceremony, at which the Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of the worldwide Ismaili community, and Tajik president Imomali Rahmon both made speeches.
Like other Ismaili centres around the world, the one in Dushanbe is designed to serve the broader community with cultural and educational facilities as well as religious activities for this branch of Shia Islam. The architects used a design reflecting Central Asia’s historic religious buildings.
Most of Tajikistan’s Ismaili minority live in Badakhshan, a high-altitude region in the southeast.
Politicians and other leading figures interviewed in the report hailed the new centre. Communist Party leader Shodi Shabdolov said it showed how Islam can be a modern, open religion.
Hoji Akbar Turajonzoda, a leading Sunni cleric, stressed that “there is no discord among Tajiks even though they follow different strands of Islam. The majority are Sunni of the Hanafi school… there are no disagreements because neither Hanafis nor Ismailis prosyletise.”
Posted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 3:24 am Post subject: Dushanbe - a trip full of happiness and blessings!!!
With the grace and mercy of our beloved Hazir Imam, we have just returned home successfully from our second visit to that beautiful part of the world that is known as Tajikistan.
This time, many people had decided to form a travel group and go to Tajikistan. Many of our friends and family suggested that we should join such a group as that would certainly make travel to such a remote part of the world easier and there would be greater support all around. <BR>But we remained adamant. As we did in the Golden Jubilee last year, we decided to ask beloved Mowla to take our hands in His and to lead us there by ourselves.
....for a complete pictorial account, please click on the following link:
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