ISLAMABAD: In an unprecedented move, President Asif Ali Zardari announced civil awards for a number of key PPP members and his close aides, leaving a question mark on the criteria adopted for the prestigious honour.
The official list of 185 recipients of the civil awards issued by the Cabinet Secretariat on the country’s Independence Day carries names of over a dozen government functionaries and bureaucrats, including the National Assembly Speaker, the Senate chairman, the interior minister, the President’s Secretary General and his niece and cabinet secretary, raising eyebrows over the move.
The otherwise prestigious list of Pakistani citizens and foreign nationals for excellence in various fields is likely to generate a heated debate about the need for having a merit-based nomination process, instead of giving discretionary powers to the President.
Even a number of PPP members expressed surprise over inclusion of certain names in the list of this year’s recipients of civil awards. The awards are announced every year on Aug 14 and conferred on the Pakistan Day, March 23, the following year.
The move was so startling that one of the recipients and a government functionary, who is also close to the President, was not found to be at all happy over the inclusion of his name in the list.
All PPP members have been nominated for different categories of awards for their “public service”.
Senate Chairman Farooq H. Naek, National Assembly Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza, Interior Minister Rahman Malik, Secretary General to President Salman Faruqui and late Punjab Governor Salman Taseer have been nominated for ‘Nishan-i-Imtiaz’. President Zardari will confer the awards at the investiture ceremony on March 23.
Similarly, the chairperson of Benazir Income Support Programme, Ms Farzana Raja, Pakistan Ambassador to US Hussain Haqqani, Baitul Maal’s chairman and former PPP MNA Zamarud Khan and President’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar have been nominated for ‘Hilal-i-Imtiaz.
The list also contains names of Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation Director General Murtaza Solangi, former adviser to Sindh chief minister Sharmila Faruqui and Cabinet Division Secretary Nargis Sethi as recipients of ‘Sitara-i-Imtiaz.’
Similarly, the President of Pakistan Hockey Federation and former Punjab PPP president Qasim Zia will receive “President’s Pride of Performance” award for his contribution to sports.
The president has also conferred Sitara-i-Imtiaz on Muttahida Qaumi Movement MNA Khushbakht Shujaat in the field of “public service”.
Other prominent recipients of the Civil Awards are: Aslam Azhar (broadcasting); Agha Nasir (literature); Sohail Rana (music); Prof Mehdi Hassan (literature); Sahira Kazmi (art); Mohsin Gilani (actor); Noman Ejaz (actor); Saba Hameed (actress); Meera (film actress); Javaid Sheikh (actor); Muhammad Yousaf (cricketer); Suhail Asghar (artist); Sakeena Sammon (artist) and Kazimuddin Pasha (drama production).
Following is the list of recipients of civil awards:
HILAL-I-PAKISTAN: Dr Fuad Abdul Salam Muhammad Al-Farsi (Saudi Arabia).
HILAL-I-IMTIAZ: Sultan Lakhani (public service); Mian Amir Mehmood (public service); Gohar Ejaz (public service); Late Prof Mohammad Waris Mir (journalism); Late Prof Dr Syed Wadal Shah (science and education).
SITARA-I-PAKISTAN: Dr Mohammad Farqad Alamgir (UK Medicine); Adnan Bin Mohammad Amin Katib (Saudi Arabia) and Chen Qiu Fa (China).
SITARA-I-SHUJAAAT: Abdul Aziz Bullo Shaheed (Sindh; gallantry)
SITARA-I-IMTIAZ: Burhan Kayaturk (Turkey); Javed Iqbal Minhas (Metallurgical Engg); Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan (Agricultural Research and Education); Prof Dr Khalid Mohammed Khan (Medicinal & Synthetic Organic Chemistry); Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah (Physics); Prof Dr Abdul Hameed (Applied & Environmental Microbiology); Late Dr M Farooq Khan (writer); Syed Mashkoor Hussain Yad (literature); Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar (public service); Hanif Khalid (journalism); Sikandar Ahmed Rai (DG BOI); Zahid Malik (journalism); Tahir Khalil (journalism); Prof Saeed Akhtar (painting); Mubashar Lucman (journalism); Nasara Wazir Ali and Dr Javed Sarwar Naqvi (UK).
PRIDE OF PERFORMANCE: Raja Shahid Nazir (Mechanical Engg); Abdul Hamid (Physics); Syed Aqueel Haider Zaidi (Electrical Engg); Muhammad Faiyaz (Nuclear Engg); Sajjad Ahmad Mehmood (Chemical Engg); Ghulam Hussain (Mechanical Engg); Mirza Zafarul Islam (Geology); M Aqil-ur-Rehman (Physics); Sameeullah Khan (Mechanical Engg); Rashid Ahmed Alvi (Chemistry); M Ibrahim (Physics); Late Brig (retd) Tahir Baig (Netcentric Warfare); Dr Amjad Siddique Almas (Geo-Spatial Technologies); Tariq Aziz Khan (Electronics); Irfan Ahmad (Electrical Engg); Muhammad Imran (Micro-Wave Science); Tasleem Baig (Aerospace Engg); Shakeel Zahid (Satellite Technology); Dr Waqas Masood (Physics); Dr Mehboob-ur-Rehman (Plant Breeding & Genetics); Dr Syed Tauseef Mohyuddin (Maths/Physical Sciences); Hafiza Dr Farzana Suleman (Education); Prof Muhammad Sharif Tahir (Education); Gulzar Alam (Singer); Late Ejaz Hussain Hazervi (Music); Shigeyuki Ataka, Japan (Arts); Prof Dr Rahat Naveed Masud (Fine Arts); Azhar Javed (Literature); Tariq Khurshid Malik (Literature); Muhammad Lutfullah Khan (Archives); Muhammad Aman (Literature); Zahida Hina (Journalism); Kh Muhammad Zakariya (Literature); Muhammad Khamis and Dr Zahoor Ahmed Awan (public service).
SITARA-I-QUAID-I-AZAM: Yang Jiemian and Yuan Jianmin of China (services to Pakistan).
TAMGHA-I-PAKISTAN: Brother Raymond.
TAMGHA-I-SHUJAAT (Gallantry): Late Jamal-ud-Din Khan (KP); Late Abdul Kabir Khan (KP); Abdul Rashid Khan (KP); Said Ahmad Khan alias Fateh Khan (KP); Abdullah Jan Tareen Shaheed (KP); Asif Rehman Khan (Sindh); Irshad Ali Raza (Sindh); Gulfat Hussain Shaheed (KP); Shazia Gul Shaheed (KP); Shah Iran Shaheed; Aghdalisan Shaheed; Muhammad Hussain Shaheed (Balochistan); Tariq Mehmood (KP); Major (retd) Dawar Bin Zahoor (Sindh); Lt Athar Iqbal (Punjab); Kachkol Khan Shaheed (Fata); Saleem Khan Shaheed (Fata); Sadiq Amin Shaheed (KP); Attaullah Shaheed (Fata); Faridullah Shaheed (Fata); Shamshad Begum Shaheed (Fata); Mohammad Wisal Khan (KP); Malik Manasib Khan Shaheed (Fata); Malik Fazal Manan Shaheed (Fata) and Muhammad Naveed Younus Shaheed (Sindh).
TAMGHA-I-IMTIAZ: Malik M. Asif (Indonesia); Mehmood Ahmed (Electrical Techmnology); Shabbir Ahmad (Mechanical); Faisal Jahanzeb (Mechanical Engg); Dr Abdul Qayyum (Physics); Dr Qaisar Mahmood (Environmental Sciences); Prof Dr Fida Younus Khattak (Laser Plasma Physics); Prof Dr Arshad Saleem Bhatti (Physics); Dr Zabta Khan Shinwari Science (Plant Sciences); Karam Khan Kaleri (Agriculture Research); Dr Sohail Nadeem (Maths); Ghulam Abbass Guldervi (singing); Mansoor Ali Malangi (Folk Singer); Nafees Ahmed Khan (Sitar Player); Riaz Ahmed (Wax Printing); Aziz Fatima (Embroidery); Akhtar Sharif Qawwal; Sabir Hussain Qawwal; Abdul Jabbar Bhutto (Photography); Abdur Rashid (Photography); Dr S. A. Rahman (artist); Feroz Gul late (music); Syed Ameer Imam late (TV Producer); Muhammad Zaki Taji (art); Syed Javaid Hussain Kazmi (Cameraman); Kazy Javed (Literature); M Hafeezullah Khan (Literature); Abdul Fattah Malik (Literature); Fatima Hasan (Literature); Younus Qiasi (Literature); Wahid Bakhsh Buzdar (Literature); Shakir Hussain Shakir (Literature); Niaz Humayuni (Literature); Tarique Alam Abro late (Literature); Dr Dur Muhammad Pathan (Literature); Ahmad Bakhtiyar Ashraf (Literature); Dr Suhail Ahmed Khan late (Promotion of Urdu); Muhammad Saad Ullah Khan (Literature); Dr Inayatullah Faizi (Literature); Muhammad Riaz Shahid (Research); R.A.Khan (Education); Kiran Khan (Swimming); Sana Mir(Cricket); Abdul Razzaq (Blind Cricket); Malik Nazir Ahmad Wattoo (Social Development); Dr Ahmad Raza (Public Service); Mirza Hussain Hazara; Late Khalid Mehmood Malik; Muhammad Saleem Hassan Wattoo; Lt (retd) Maqsood Ahmed; Dr Zia-ur-Rehman; Dr Jehan Zeb Dawar; Dr Mohammad Noor; Ishtiaq Baig; Hidayat Ullah Partau; Muhammad Gul; Asad Abbas Awan Roshan Atta late; Baseer Abbas; Mohammad Yahya Polani; Akhtar Yunus; Ch. Aslam (SSP); Prof Syed Mansoor Hussain; Raihan Merchant; Prof. A.R. Khan and Prof. Javed Akram (public service).
TAMGHA-I-KHIDMAT: Khalid Usman (Services to Pakistan).