Peace must for regional development, says Aga Khan

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CHITRAL: Prince Karim Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of the Ismaili community, said on Saturday that peace is must for development of the region.

He was addressing his followers in Booni and Garum Chashma.

In his address, Aga Khan stressed the importance of education and linked peace to the development of the region. He said that Islam is a religion of peace and its followers must adhere to the instructions of Islam for the progress and prosperity of the entire Muslim world.

Around 60,000 followers had gathered at Garum Chasma and 80,000 in Booni to listen to their spiritual leader. The spiritual leader of the Ismaili community said that he had a strong bond with Chitral and was aware of the problems of the area.

Earlier, Member National Assembly Shahzada Iftikharuddin, District Nazim Maghfirat Shah and government officials received Prince Karim Aga Khan at the Chitral airport.

He was scheduled to reach Chitral on a military C-130 plane. However, his arrival was delayed by three hours due to the inclement weather and he reached the district via helicopter.

Aga Khan arrived in Islamabad on Thursday evening on the invitation of the Pakistani government. His visit is part of a series of tours that coincides with the commemoration of his Diamond Jubilee, beginning earlier this year on July 11.

The Diamond Jubilee marks 60 years of his role as the spiritual leader of the Ismaili community.

Aga Khan acceded to the Ismaili Imamat on July 11, 1957, succeeding his grandfather, Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan, at the age of 20.

The Ismailis live in over 25 different countries, mainly in Central and South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, as well as in Europe, North America and Australia.

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