KARACHI, April 30: The Jinnah Society on Sunday conferred the Jinnah Award for 2004 and 2005 to Dr Akhtar Hameed Khan posthumously and Dr Ishrat Hussain in recognition of their outstanding and meritorious services to Pakistan and its people as founder of Orangi Pilot Project and as Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan respectively.

Dr Javed Iqbal, former judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, who was the chief guest, conferred the awards at an impressive ceremony in a local hotel.

Dr Ishrat Hussain, who has been recently assigned to give recommendations for good governance, said that Dr Abdul Hameed Khan was his mentor and teacher at the Comilla Academy in 1965 and 1967. He said his role models were the founder of Pakistan and Dr Akhtar Hameed Khan who had inspired him to do something for the poor and the country.

He recalled his efforts at the World Bank, where he succeeded in creating provisions for micro-financing and later at the State Bank of Pakistan where he regulated micro-financing which had helped small farmers and people of small means in getting loans to improve their business. He said: “We have created special banks like Khushhali and Tameeri banks which are providing credit from Rs15,000 to Rs25,000 on low rates of interest.” About 600,000 people had been provided loans so far, he said.

He further said that the National Bank of Pakistan was working out modalities on Student Loan Scheme under which subsidised loans would be provided to students who want to go for higher studies but could not make it for want of resources.

Mrs Akhtar Hameed Khan was presented the award of late Akhtar Hameed Khan. His daughter Aisha Hameed was also present on the occasion.

Dr Justice Javed Iqbal, in his presidential remarks, pointed out that since the death of Quaid-i-Azam, our efforts failed to give a system of governance to the country which could deliver and solve problems. He said Quaid-i-Azam wanted to see our new country as a model for rest of the world, but we failed to achieve that position.

At the conclusion of ceremony, Dr Javed Iqbal was presented a memento.