RAWALPINDI: The Finance Minister, Nawab Muzaffar Ali Qizilbash, and the Home Minister, Sardar Abdur Rashid Khan, have recently been conferred the awards of Hilal-e-Pakistan and Hilal-e-Quaid-e-Azam respectively — announced almost 12 years ago.

They were conferred the honours in the list of civil awards in August 1958, when Maj-Gen Iskander Mirza was the President. Mr Qizilbash was then the Chief Minister of West Pakistan and Sardar Rashid the Minister of Commerce and Industries in the Central Government.

But before the first investiture ceremony could be held came the “Revolution” and Field Marshal Ayub Khan — then a General — took over as the country President. The two did not attend any of the investiture ceremonies that followed — or perhaps they were not invited — to receive their awards. After the change of Government in March 1969 and their appointment as Ministers in President Yahya Khan’s Cabinet they were again conferred their old awards.

[Meanwhile, as reported by agencies in Moscow,] The President, Gen A.M. Yahya Khan, said here today [June 23] that the relationship between Pakistan and the Soviet Union is an outstanding example of how States following different social systems can live as close and friendly neighbours.

Published in Dawn, June 24th, 2020