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KARACHI: Prince Karim Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of the Ismaili community, has praised Portugal as an important player on the global stage and thanked the country for a “progressive partnership with the Ismaili imamat”.

The Aga Khan said this while addressing members of the Portuguese parliament. He was invited to speak at the Assembly of the Republic in Lisbon by its president Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues.

According to a press release issued on Tuesday by the Aga Khan Development Network, the Ismaili imamat and the AKDN share a long history with the Portuguese government that has included partnerships to help improve the quality of life for people living in Lusophone communities and around the world.

It said that Portugal was home to a sizeable Ismaili population and the Aga Khan Foundation, an agency of the AKDN, had been operating in the country for almost four decades in areas of early childhood development, education, civil society, economic inclu­­sion and care for the elderly.

The prince’s address coincides with celebrations taking place in Lisbon, marking 60 years of his leadership as the 49th spiritual leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslims.

Published in Dawn, July 11th, 2018