February 13, 1981

The Gracious Presence Sarkar Mowlana Hazar Imam Visits Karachi

The Karachi Jamat was blessed with the gracious presence of Sakar Mowlana Hazar Imam Shah Karim al-Husayni from 13th February 1981 when he arrived at about 11:30 in the night, to Tuesday 17th February, when he left around 10 in the morning. The three day visit was packed with activity, the highlight of which was the official inauguration of the School of Nursing at the Aga Khan Hospital and Medical College Complex by President of Pakistan, General Mohammad Zia ul-Haq. Hazar Imam travelled to Pakistan specially for this ocassion and attended several other public engagements, of which we give here short resume.

Saturday February 14: Hazar Imam hosted a lunch for Governor Sind General S.M. Abbasi at the residence of Vazir Ramzan Merchant. A distinguished gathering of government officials, representative from foreign Universities with which the School of Nursing is affiliated, jamati leaders and other invitees attended the function.

In the afternoon, Hazar Imam was the Chief Guest at the Book Launching Ceremony of Begum Raa'na Liaquat Ali Khan's Book - a collection of her speeches and Biography at Hotel Intercontinental. Hazar Imam addressed the distinguished gathering of about 500 persons (Full text of speech under 'speeches').

Sunday February 15: The Mayor of Karchi hosted a Civic Reception in the evening in open air at the Bagh-e-Jinnah, attended by over 6000 persons. The place wore a very festive look, two Aga Khan Bands were entertaining the audience and the colourful atmosphere of the evening was most pleasant. Hazar Imam was presented the Key of the City Karachi and replied to the Mayor's address. (Full text of speech under 'speeches').

The Pakistan Medical Association (Sind) hosted a dinner in honour of Hazar Imam at Beach Luxury Hotel the same night, attended by over a thousand guests. Hazar Imam was made an Honourary Member of the P.M.A. President of the Association Dr. Feroz Wania during the course of his speech said it would be beneficial for the Association members to use the facilities such as library etc., at the Complex.

Hazar Imam replied to the address saying the Health care was a subject of increasing concern for discerning persons and establishments of the Hospital was a step towards solving some of the problems of Health care today (Full text of speech under 'speeches').

Monday February 16: This was the big day. The official Inauguration of the School of Nursing was performed in the morning.

The same afternoon Hazar Imam hosted a lunch in honour of President Mohammed Zia-ul-Haq at Hotel Intercontinental, to which a small distinguished gathering was invited.

Hazar Imam, during his stay in Karachi, also attended several meetings with leaders of the Jamat, Hospital personnel and in between his public engagements, attended private working lunches and dinners.

During his stay here, Hazar Imam recorded an interview for the Pakistan Television, full text of which appears elsewhere in this issue.

The significant aspect of Hazar Imam's visit is that at every function, a public homage was paid at Hazar Imam's efforts in the direction of raising health standards, education standards, architectural concepts, all in the best traditions of his ancestors and in keeping with the Ismailic concepts. It was reiterated again and again that Hazar Imam's distinguished role was a unique one in present history and probably has no other parallel. The establishment of a private philanthropic Hospital project of this stature is a a singualr example in the world and at all the public functions, his role as a true outstanding Muslim leader of our times with no other interest except to serve Islam and humanity was emphasized ever more.

The short visit ended on the morning of February 17th when Hazar Imam left for Paris giving the jamat a new hope, a new vision, and to the public a new perspective on what philanthropic efforts can achieve, what Hazar Imam's leadership means to Islam.

Islaimi Mirror March 1981

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