Prince Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, arrives Dhaka today on a four-day state visit.

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed will receive him at Zia International airport.

Price Aga Khan’s visit marks the golden jubilee of his Imamat. He became the Imam on July 11, 1957 at the age of 20, succeeding his grandfather, Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan.

Prince Aga Khan will call on President Iajuddin Ahmed, Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed and hold meetings with several advisers.

He will visit National Memorial at Savar and attend a state banquet at Hotel Sonargaon today. He will also host diplomatic reception and Imamat banquet at the same venue tomorrow.

Prince Aga Khan will lay the foundation of the Aga Khan Academy at Basundhara tomorrow and the permanent Jamatkhana of the community on May 21.

The Aga Khan Academy will be built on 21 acres of land at a cost of around US$ 50 million to teach brilliant students from the primary to the secondary level and impart training to teachers.

An official of the Aga Khan Foundation said some 750 to 1200 Bangladeshi students will be admitted to the Academy on the basis of merit. The medium of teaching will be both Bangla and English.

As part of the commemoration of Prince Aga Khan’s Golden Jubilee which began on July 11 last year, he has been paying official visits to some 35 countries, using these occasions to recognise the friendship and longstanding support of leaders of state, government and other partners in the work of the Ismaili Imamat, and to set the direction for the future, including the launching and laying of foundations for major initiatives and programmes.

Like his grandfather Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan before him, the Aga Khan has been concerned about the well-being of all Muslims, particularly in the face of the challenges of rapid historical changes.

Today, the Ismailis live in some 25 countries, mainly in West and Central Asia, Africa and the Middle East, as well as in North America and Western Europe.

Over the four decades since the present Aga Khan became Imam, there have been major political and economic changes in most of these areas.

The Aga Khan has emphasised the view of Islam as a thinking, spiritual faith, one that teaches compassion and tolerance and that upholds the dignity of man, Allah’s noblest creation.

Source: http://www.thedailystar.net/story.php?nid=37218

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