Aga Khan Calls for Dialogue

           Between Conflicting Afghan


           DUSHANBE, September 29 (Itar-Tass) - "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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