High civil awards were conferred posthumously on Begum Nusrat Bhutto and former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer by President Asif Ali Zardari on Republic Day. Interior Minister Rehman Malik and filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy were among other high profile people decorated at the Aiwan-e-Sadr on Friday.
President Zardari had approved 189 national civil awards, along with a large number of awards for armed forces servicemen. Of these, 67 recipients were decorated by the president himself at a ceremony.
Awards were also conferred by the governors of all the four provinces and Gilgit-Baltistan at ceremonies in the governors’ residences at the respective provincial capitals. The Punjab governor decorated 49 recipients while the Sindh governor decorated 27 recipients. Six and 15 recipients were decorated by the governors of Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa respectively. One recipient was decorated by the Gilgit-Baltistan governor.
A total of 22 recipients will be decorated at a later ceremony held at the Joint Staff Headquarters by the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman on the president’s behalf.
Eight foreign nationals including one Pakistani expatriate will also be decorated by the heads of Pakistani missions located in the countries of the respective recipients.
Other prominent figures recognised include actors Meera, Javed Sheikh, Nauman Ijaz and Qavi Khan. Businessman Sultan Lakhani was among those honoured as well.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 24th, 2012.