CHITRAL: As the Ismaili Muslims are waiting anxiously for the visit of their 49th Imam Shah Karim Al-Hussaini to Chitral, there are fears that hundreds of families may not be able to attend the congregation due to some last-minutes procedural changes.
It may be noted that the Ismaili institutions are reputed for making meticulous arrangements for any event and the members of the community also have the tradition of following any set rule with discipline.
As it is for the first time that registration of families was made mandatory for participation in the Didar, some families complained to ChitralTody that they may not be able to attend the Didar due to unavailability of registration cards or other reasons.
They said the registration process had started months ago but many members could not receive the cards on time. Secondly, in the beginning the community was informed that after getting registered the Ismailis would be able to use the computerized cards for Didar anywhere in the country.
After registration months back, a large number of people from Chitral moved to different cities for work and now they are being told that their cards can only be used in the place of their registration.
A resident of upper Chitral told ChitralToday that he was living in Okara Punjab along with his family. He said he had registered his six-member family in Chitral a few months back but had so far received cards for only three of them. He said as he had been told that he can use the cards for Didar in Islamabad he had moved his family to Okara.
“Due to different reasons I am unable to travel to Chitral and the Ismaili council has refused to issue me entry passes for the expected Didar in Islamabad, saying I should go to my village,” he added.
Like him, there are scores of other people who may not be able to reach Chitral on Dec 9 for the congregation. They called upon the Aga Khan Council to relax the rules so that they can also avail of the opportunity to have a Didar of their spiritual leader.