The News Internatioanl
Friday April 02, 2004

Safar 11, 1425 A.H.
ISSN 1563-9479

Aga Khan favours reconstruction of Afghanistan

BERLIN: "Social and economic reconstruction must be based first on the engendering of hope and trust in new, realistic opportunities" and the need to "build for the continuity of such efforts by the beneficiaries themselves."

Addressing representatives of over 60 states and international organizations at a major conference here, the Highness the Aga Khan leader) of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, today highlighted to the international community key issues for continued and enhanced progress in Afghanistan, based on the Aga Khan Development Network's extensive experience of reconstruction and development in the country and the region more broadly. The Aga Khan drew on the Network's learning from its focus on the ultra poor in Afghanistan as well in the surrounding region, particularly in, Tajikistan and North West Pakistan.

The first of the issues was the need to build a vibrant civil society to help develop economic, social and cultural institutions, and the necessary enabling environment of proper legal and fiscal frameworks for the birth and growth of sustainable national institutions. Fostering and legitimizing pluralism was, the Aga Khan noted, "a paramount challenge."