Officers receive Prince Karim at Chitral airport. PHOTO: DC CHITRAL’S TWITTER ACCOUNT
CHITRAL: Prince Karim Aga Khan, the spiritual leader and 49th Imam of the Shia Ismaili community, visited on Saturday the Chitral district in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. He addressed his followers, who had gathered in thousands at Garam Chashma and Boni areas.
Prince Karim arrived in Islamabad on an official visit to the country on the invitation of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Thursday. Minister for Foreign Affairs Khowaja Mohammad Asif, Minister for Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry and Mayor of Islamabad Sheikh Anser Aziz received him at the airport.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had officially invited the Aga Khan IV.
On Saturday, Prince Karim, who earlier held meetings with President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, was scheduled to reach the valley from Islamabad on a C-130 plane. However, he reached the valley three hours late on the helicopter of the Aga Khan Foundation due to the weather.
At the airport, he was welcomed by MNA Iftikharuddin, District Nazim Maghfirat Shah, Malakand’s Commissioner Zaheerul Islam, Regional Police Officer Akhtar Hayat and Commandant Chitral Task force Colonel Moinuddin.
Special arrangements had been made at Garam Chashma and Boni to accommodate 60,000 and 80,000 people, respectively, who had gathered from different areas to see their 49th Imam.
Addressing his followers, Prince Karim said peace and law and order were necessary for progress of the region. “Islam is the religion of peace and love, and we should give priority to these aspects over all other things,” he added.
At the airport, the Chitral nazim briefed him on the area’s issues and highlighted the importance of establishing both air and road links between Chitral and Khorugh area of Tajikistan. He said these arrangements were very important for the progress of the area.
Prince Karim said Chitral held a special place in his heart and that he was well aware of the issues of the area. The prince later stayed the night at the valley.