Islamabad, Pakistan January 18, 1970


Each time I visit Pakistan, My heart warms to growing memories and to a store house of recollections. Memories of great personal kindnesses of friendship made and renewed and above all a feeling that I am at home. I would like, therefore to thank you, Mr. President most particularly for the generous invitation, which you have extended to My wife and to Myself. We are deeply honoured to be your guests during the three day visit to Islamabad.

This journey in Pakistan is of very special importance to Me. It is the first time that I have visited your country with My wife and the first time she will meet My community in their own country. During the next four weeks, we will be travelling widely both in the East and West wings and visiting most of your major centres. For My wife as you have remarked it will be a voyage of discovery. Perhaps, it may even be described as a voyage of rediscovery for during her early childhood the Begum visited a number of places in Pakistan including Lahore and Sargodha where her father served in one of your most famous regiments. I know how much she is looking forward to recapturing these memories of a very happy childhood, and that hearts will warm her just as I feel certain she will fall in love again with your wonderful country and its hospitable people.

Mr. President, I want to say how overjoyed I am by the news you have given to Us tonight that one of the principal roads in your new Capital of Islamabad is to be named after My Grandfather. I know how proud He himself would have been to have known that His work for Islam in this sub-continent should be thus honoured for posterity and I speak for all My family when I thank you for this most moving tribute to a Man whom we all held in such affection and esteem.

For Me, this has proved a most memorable day in more ways than one. Only a few hours ago, Ladies and Gentlemen, your President bestowed upon Me the decoration of "Nishan-e-Imtiaz". I find it hard to express the sense of pride and gratitude which I feel on receiving this high honour and I know that the members of My family and community will participate in My pride. It is because of the links which My grandfather and My father have forged with Pakistan that I have watched this country's progress with special interest and attention.

As the largest Muslim country in the world, it is our most fervent wish that the months and years ahead will witness Pakistan set firmly on the course of those democratic principles and sound economic polices which you have so ably set forth.

In this endeavour, you may be assured of the wholehearted participation and unquestioning loyalty of the Ismaili community. They will be supported to the utmost by My wife and by Myself.

Source: Ismaili Mirror - 1970 Souvenir Issue

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