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Aga Khan Calls for Dialogue-1998-09-28

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Event - 1998-09-28
Monday, 1998, September 28

"All the Afghans should
promptly resume an open and fraternal dialogue, thereby turning
Islamic peace ethics into a national reality and putting an end to
hatred and division," Ismailite spiritual leader Aga Khan the Fourth
said during a meeting with people from the Gorno-Badakhshan
Autonomous Region of Tajikistan and the Afghan representatives,
who had arrived there from the neighbouring country.

Imam Aga Khan had spent one week in the republic at the
invitation of President Emomali Rakhmonov and had toured the
Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomy, which has the biggest Ismailite
community within the Commonwealth of Independent States

In his appeal to the Afghan spiritual leaders, who visited
Badakhshan with the help of Russian borderguards, Aga Khan
stated that his "heart overflows with sorrow from the very idea that
Moslems are now fighting against Moslems", whereas "it is
necessary to respect the sanctity of life".

Aga Khan approved of the fact that peace was established all over
Tajikistan. He also praised the successful agricultural reforms in
the country and its economic rehabilitation with the help of his
Development Organisation. "It is important to extend the
experience of eliminating hatred and going over to constructive
work and public prosperity to the territory of Afghanistan too," he

Aga Khan told Itar-Tass on Tuesday that he regarded his visit to
Tajikistan as a very successful and fruitful one . He made this
statement after his final meeting with President Emomali
Rakhmonov, during which the sides summed up the results of their
cooperation and mapped out plans for the future.

Imam Aga Khan stressed that the progress achieved in the
implementation of the programmes envisaged by the agreement on
cooperation, which was signed during his first visit to the republic
in 1995, "has surpassed all expectations". This, in his opinion,
gives ground for optimism and for the expansion of his
Organisation's programmes to develop the republic, to increase aid
to it.

The leader of the Ismailites of all the world stayed in Tajikistan at
the invitation of its president from September 21-29. Aga Khan
had meetings with the leaders of the country, heads of international
organisations accredited in Dushanbe, and with the commander of
the group of Russian borderguards in the republic. Aga Khan
undertook a 4-day tour of the Gorno-Badakhshan region.

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