ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari announced on Sunday the recipients of the top civilian awards, both Pakistani and foreign nationals, on the 65th Independence Day of the country. The investiture ceremony will take place on the Pakistan Day on March 23, 2012.
Nishan-i-Imtiaz is to be conferred upon the late Salmaan Taseer, ex-governor of Punjab, Senate chairman Farooq H Naek, National Assembly Speaker Fahmida Mirza, Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Salman Faruqui, Secretary General to the president in the field of public service. Fuad Abdul Salam Muhammad Al-Farsi (Saudi Arabia) is to be decorated with Hilal-i-Pakistan for services to Pakistan.
Farzana Raja, chairperson of Benazir Income Support Programme, Hussain Haqqani, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US, Sultan Lakhani, Zumarad Khan, Mian Amir Mahmood, Farhatullah Babar, Gohar Ejaz and the late Mohammad Waris Mir will be honoured with Hilal-i-Imtiaz in the field of public service.
The late Wadal Shah is to be awarded Hilal-i-Imtiaz for journalism. Sitara-i-Pakistan will be bestowed upon Mohammad Farqad Alamgir (UK), Adnan Bin Mohammad Amin Katib (Saudi Arabia), Chen Qiu Fa (China) for services to Pakistan.
Sitara-i-Imtiaz will be awarded to Raihan Merchant for public service, Burhan Kayaturk (Turkey) for services to Pakistan, Javed Iqbal Minhas in metallurgical engineering, Iqrar Ahmad Khan for agricultural research and education, Khalid Mohammed Khan for science (medicinal and synthetic organic chemistry), Hassan Amir Shah for science (physics), Abdul Hameed for science (applied & environmental microbiology/biotechnology), Aslam Azhar for broadcasting, Muhammad Farooq Khan for writing, Mashkoor Hussain Yaad for literature, Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar for public service, Hanif Khalid for literature (journalism), Khush Bakhat Shujjat for public service, Sikander Ahmed Rai for public service, Zahid Malik for journalism, Tahir Khalil for journalism, Agha Nasir for literature, Ghulam Murtaza Solangi for public service, Sohail Rana for art, Mubasher Lucman for journalism, Mehdi Hassan for literature, Nasara Wazir Ali for public service, Javed Sarwar Naqvi Syed (UK) for services to Pakistan, Sharmila Faruqui and Nargis Sethi for public service. President’s Award for Pride of Performance is to go to Raja Shahid Nazir for engineering (mechanical), Abdul Hamid for science (physics), Aqueel Haider Zaidi for engineering (electrical), Muhammad Fayaz for engineering (nuclear), Sajjad Ahmad Mehmood for engineering (chemical), Ghulam Hussain for engineering (mechanical), Gulzar Alam and Ejaz Hussain for music.
Actors Noman Ejaz, Javed Sheikh, Meera and Saba Hameed were nominated for pride of performance for services in film and television. Cricketer Muhammad Yousaf was honoured for his services in cricket.
(APP with additional reporting by Ali Usman in Lahore)
Published in The Express Tribune, August 15th, 2011.