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Aga Khan to found regional university in Tajikistan

Central Asia News August 29, 2000

Islamic leader Prince Karim al Hussaini Aga Khan IV plans to found a religious university to educate mountaineers in Central Asia's republics of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, a Tajik official said Monday. The Aga Khan, who is leader of the Ismaili group of Islam's Shiite branch, met Tajikistan's President Emomali Rakhmonov on Monday to discuss his plans for the university, Rakhmonov's press spokesman Zafar Saidov told AFP.
The university is designed as a private, non commercial institution for higher education and research of the people and cultures of Central Asia's mountainous regions, Saidov said. Rakhmonov and the Aga Khan signed an agreement founding the university, which will be built in Tajikistan's mountainous Badakhshan area, Saidov said.
Over 200,000 Ismailis live in the Badakhshan region on the volatile Tajik Afghani border. The Aga Khan pledged to invest some five million dollars in building the university, Saidov added. The Aga Khan's six day visit will include Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, where negotiations for the future university will continue, Saidov said. Rakhmonov also thanked the Ismaili leader for bringing humanitarian aid and investments to the war torn Tajikistan, Saidov added. This is the Aga Khan's third visit to Tajikistan since 1995.
The Almaty Herald

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