Taseer, Chinoy, Malik among those awarded on Pakistan Day
Other recipients of the Nishan-i-Imtiaz include late Begum Nusrat Bhutto, National Assembly Speaker Fehmida Mirza.
Islamabad: Slain Punjab Governor Salmaan
Taseer, Oscar-winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and
Interior Minister Rehman Malik were among those awarded the
country`s highest honours on Pakistan Day on Friday.
Taseer, who was gunned down by a policeman last year for
his calls for reforming the controversial blasphemy law, was
awarded the Nishan-i-Imtiaz, Pakistan`s highest civilian
The award was received by his widow, Aamna Taseer.
Other recipients of the Nishan-i-Imtiaz included late
Begum Nusrat Bhutto, the wife of former President Zulfiqar Ali
Bhutto, National Assembly Speaker Fehmida Mirza and Interior
Minister Rehman Malik.
Nusrat Bhutto`s award was received by her daughter Sanam
Chinoy, who recently won an Oscar for her documentary
`Saving Face` which deals with the survivors of acid attacks,
was decorated with the Hilal-i-Imtiaz, the country`s second
highest civilian award.
Other prominent figures recognised included actress Meera,
musicians Sabir Hasan and Nafees Ahmed Khan, and sportsmen M
Ashraf Tai and Mohammad Yousuf.
However, the government was criticised by the media for
honouring some candidates who were described as "undeserving".
Salman Faruqui, a close aide of President Zardari, was
awarded the Nishan-i-Imtiaz while Cabinet Secretary Nargis
Sethi, who presided over the process of nominations for the
honours, was conferred the Hilal-i-Imtiaz.
Several other aides of Zardari were among the recipients,
including Sharmila Faruqui, former Senate Chairman Farooq Naek
and Farzana Raja.
Media reports noted that some selections had violated a
policy laid down by late premier Benazir Bhutto, which said
that no holder of a public office should get any national
The awards were announced on the eve of Pakistan Day,
which marks the adoption of the Lahore Resolution in 1940 and
the adoption of the country`s first Constitution in 1956.
President Asif Ali Zardari will give away some of the
awards during an investiture ceremony later in the day.
Zardari approved a total of 189 civil awards and a large
number of honours for armed forces personnel.
The President himself gave away 67 awards during a
ceremony at the presidency.
Awards were presented to five foreign nationals, including
Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand, who was conferred
The Governors of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and
Balochistan too decorated awardees on behalf of the President
in the provincial capitals.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman decorated 22
recipients of national awards at a ceremony held at the Joint
Staff headquarters in Rawalpindi.