Thursday, November 02, 2006
Daily Times (Pakistan)
Editorial article

SECOND EDITORIAL: Aga Khan in Tajikistan

The Ismaili spiritual leader, His Highness Karim Aga Khan, was in Tajikistan recently to open a bridge that will allow the passage of trade between China and Afghanistan through Tajik territory. The Tajik president, Emomali Rakhmonov, was on hand to welcome him, signalling a new policy that takes into account the large Ismaili-Shia community living on the high Pamir mountains. The bridge is located in the Wakhan corridor in Badakhshan which was created by the British to separate Russia-dominated Central Asia from British India

The Afghan governor of Badakhshan and the Tajik president talked about trade potential between China on the one hand and Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan on the other. This is a good omen. But the irony is that it has been made possible only after the defeat of the mullahs both in Afghanistan and Tajikistan. The Aga Khan was there because a large part of his 15 million Ismaili flock lives in the region which includes Pakistanís Northern Areas. However, it should be a matter of great embarrassment that we have not been able to bring peace to the sectarian problems in our northern region. Hunza and other localities where the Ismailis live remain the subject of poisonous rumours about the creation of a new state there under the Aga Khan. Tragically, too, some of our newspapers have been printing mischievous articles aimed at spreading division and unrest. This must stop. *


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