Civil awards for public office holders not unusual: Government

Islamabad: While referring a news story appeared in a section of press the Government Spokesperson has said that the Democratic Government notes with regret and sadness that an occasion of national pride for Pakistan on its 64th Independence Day has been mocked in a derogatory fashion and with complete disregard for national sentiments, a Government Spokesperson said.

President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, has been pleased to confer Pakistan’s most prestigious civil awards on 185 outstanding Pakistani and international citizens belonging to all walks of life.

These include categories of services to Pakistan, public service, social welfare, gallantry, academics, research and education, sciences and development, fine arts and performing arts, music, literature and language, media, journalism and broadcasting, sports etc.

President Zardari has been conferring the civil awards for the last three years, as per the annual official practice.

Interestingly, last year’s nominees also included daily Dawn’s CEO, but the newspaper found no fault with the nominations back then.

This year’s 185 recipients include Pakistanis as well as international individuals who have rendered meritorious and outstanding services for the growth, development and prosperity of Pakistan.

Conferment of these awards on public office holders and government functionaries is not unusual, neither it is wrong. In fact, it is a necessary and due recognition of their remarkable and courageous public service in the face of extreme politico-social, economic and security challenges confronted by today’s Pakistan.

Singling out government functionaries and public office holders from a list of 185 multi-representative awardees, and using it for petty political point-scoring is sad and reflects in poor taste.

It negates the spirit of recognition and celebration of national talent and public service. One certainly expects better from a publication of daily Dawn’s calibre and national repute.

It is a particular cause for concern that a Democratic Government’s recognition of individuals who have struggled for democracy and who have dedicated their lives to building a democratic Pakistan despite innumerable challenges and dangers, should be put under a microscope having a biased, un-objective and lop-sided lens, whereas awards doled out by dictatorial regimes of the past have never been questioned so.

The Democratic Government is proud to commend professionals who have devoted their entire lives to their respective lines of work and causes.

These are men and woman who have dedicated their past and present endeavours to the betterment and prosperity of their country and their fellow citizens. These are men and women that Pakistan is and should be proud of. The recipients of the prestigious civil awards also include prominent personalities from Pakistani Media who have provided invaluable services for well being of the people. They include Prof. Muhammad Waris Mir, Mr. Aslam Azhar, Mr. Agha Nasir, Dr. Mehdi Hassan, Mr. Sultan Ali Lakhani, Mr. Zahid Malik, Hafiz Tahir Khalil, Mr. Hanif Khalid, Mr. Ghulam Murtaza Solangi, Mr. Mubasher Lucman and others.

For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
Fax: +9251 925 2325 and +9251 925 2326

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