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KARACHI, Oct 21: Sindh Governor Mohammedmian Soomro has said the social development programmes of the Aga Khan Development Network, under the visionary leadership of His Highness the Aga Khan, have immensely benefited people in many parts of Pakistan and are a continuing testimony of his commitment.
"It is a matter of great pride for us that we are able to join you in the cause of improving the quality of life for some of the most disadvantaged and downtrodden population in the world - particularly so, as we know, that in the spirit of Islam, this is for the entire Ummah and humanity at large."
He was speaking at a dinner hosted by him in honour of Prince Karim Aga Khan and his wife, Her Highness Princess Anara Karim Aga Khan, here at the Governor's House on Friday night.
The dinner was largely attended by provincial ministers, the chief secretary, senior government officials and notables of the Aga Khani community.
The governor said: "We in Sindh are specifically appreciative of the brilliant work done by the Aga Khan institutions in health and education, not only in Karachi and Hyderabad, but in numerous other urban and rural centres as well."
The most important of these institutions is the Aga Khan University in Karachi, which stands as a symbol of excellence in higher education not only in this country, but also in this region.
"We value the confidence you have reposed in Sindh by setting up this university in our province," the governor said.
Mr Soomro said it is indeed a great privilege for us to welcome the His Highness to Sindh, the birthplace of his illustrious grandfather, Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan, a generous philanthropist, who set up various welfare institutions. The governor said Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan was the first president of the Muslim League and was a close associate of the Father of the Nation, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammed Ali Jinnah.
He recalled that Prince Karim's father, Prince Aly Khan, was honorary permanent representative of Pakistan at the United Nations.
He wished that His Highness and Her Highness had the time to visit other parts of Sindh, which was the gateway of Islam to the subcontinent and had a rich history and culture.
He said during deliberations at the conference of philanthropy at Islamabad, government was given a secondary role in development, with the private sector assuming a pivotal position.
Responding to the governor's welcoming remarks, the Aga Khan described his visit to Pakistan as always an important event.
He referred to the conference of philanthropy, and said it had been a useful assembly.
The His Highness said the Aga Khan University at Karachi, although a small institution in Pakistan, had contributed to quality higher education in the country.-APP