Speech By His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan

Mayor's Reception
Karachi, Pakistan

February 15, 1981

Your Excellency the Governor of Sind, Mayor Janab Afghani, City fathers and worthy citizens.

I would like to thank you for the wonderful reception you have accorded me on this visit to Karachi. You have said many kind words about my grandfather, about my uncle and about me. And I pray that we may be humble and continue to serve Islam.

Karachi has a special place in my heart. My grandfather was born here, I remember this city in the early fifties, nearly a quarter of a century ago. When the city's problems appeared immense, indeed, outside the scope of human resolution. Karachi is a city of major proportion, not only in Pakistan but in the Muslim world and it is important, indeed fundamental, that the citizens of this city should view their city as such. The problems you have confronted, the problems that you are confronting and no doubt, will confront in the years to come are not different from those in many other cities in many other parts of Islamic world. The steps that you have been able to take to resolve these problems, the transitions which the city has had to accept are fundamentally important, not only for Karachi but as an example to what can and certainly should happen in major cities in other parts of the Islamic world. You are resolving them courageously and wisely and I would wish today to pay my compliments to you for the steps that have been taken.

I am deeply convinced that in the years ahead, the major cities of the Islamic world must use every effort to develop within our own culture and within our idiom and it with this conviction that the Aga Khan Hospital and Medical College here in Karachi was conceived. In every facet of its planning. our architectural traditions coupled with the need to utilise foreign and modern technologies in an appropriate cultural context was scrupulously adhered to. All this is an endeavour to give this city and to give this country better medical services. I do not deny a sense of deep satisfaction that tomorrow the first phase of this major complex will, Inshallah, be officially opened by his Excellency the President of Pakistan.

I hope that the citizens of Karachi will use this institution extensively. I hope also that the benefits of the Hospital, Nursing School and the Medical College will extend throughout the country because today the role of an urban hospital can no longer be exclusively that of serving the urban population.

Lastly, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Government of Pakistan for implementing the system of local bodies whereby the city fathers are assigned the task of dealing with the day to day problems of the citizens, which I am sure you will agree, are by no means insubstantial and I wish the city fathers all the success in their endeavours.

I would like to finish by thanking the Mayor and the citizens of Karachi for the key which has been presented to me today and which is a key which is highly representative of the access to all our hearts and to my heart and I express to you my sincere gratitude.

Thank You