Pakistan recommends award for Qureshi and Boppana

Lahore: Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer said he had recommended that Pakistan`s highest civil award should be presented to tennis star Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and his Indian partner Rohan Boppana for their performance in the US Open and that his proposal has been accepted.

Addressing a reception he hosted in honour of Qureshi at Governor House here, Taseer said: "I have recommended that the highest civil award should be given to Aisam and Bopanna. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and President Asif Ali Zardari have consented to my proposal and both players will soon be rewarded for their feat."

Through the performance of Qureshi, Pakistan wanted to tell the world that it is a peace-loving nation, Taseer said.

He awarded a gold medal and Rs 500,000 to Qureshi.

Qureshi`s feats have made the country proud and lessened the miseries of people who are struggling with the country`s worst-ever floods, he said.

Qureshi`s hard work had paid off and also conveyed a message to other youngsters to follow in his path, he added.

During a separate meeting with Qureshi, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said that the tennis star was a national hero and the whole nation was proud of him.

Sharif said Qureshi`s success in the Grand Slam had come as a breath of fresh air for Pakistan.

Qureshi created history when he became the first Pakistani to enter the final of a Grand Slam event by qualifying for the finals of the men`s double and mixed doubles in the US Open last week.

Though he did not win in either category, Qureshi was given a hero`s welcome when he returned to Pakistan yesterday.