President Asif Ali Zardari talking to Tahira Habib Jalib the daughter of late Habib Jalib in Aiwan-e-Sadr. APP

Islamabad President Asif Ali Zardari conferred civil and military awards on outstanding individuals at the Pakistan Day investiture ceremony at the Aiwan-i-Sadr on Monday.

Nineteen awards were given in various categories for 'acts of bravery, heroism, courage and rendering of dedicated services with selfless devotion in human rights and public service'.

Poet Habib Jalib, widely respected for never compromising on principles and who faced various hardships including imprisonment, was awarded Nishan-i-Imtiaz (posthumous). His daughter Tahira Habib received the award.

Late Ahmad Ali Khan, former chief editor of Dawn, was awarded Hilal-i-Imtiaz which was received by his daughter Naveed Ahmad Tahir.

Ali Moeen Nawazish, a student from Islamabad who made world record by securing '21 As' in the 'A' level examination, received the Pride of Performance award.

Driver Mehr Mohammad Khalil, who with his courage and presence of mind ensured safety of the Sri Lankan cricket team during the terrorist attack in Lahore, was awarded Tamgha-i- Shujaat.

At a ceremony in Beijing, the award of Hilal-i-Quaid-i-Azam was conferred on Professor Xu Zhihong in recognition of his outstanding services to Pakistan and for his role in strengthening Pakistan-China relations.

The award was presented to Prof Zhihong by Ambassador Masood Khan on behalf of President Asif Zardari at a National Day reception.

The citation read on the occasion stated 'Prof Xu Zhihong, president of Peking University, is a distinguished scholar in the field of life sciences. He has exhibited profound commitment in strengthening Pak-China cooperation in the education sector.'

He played a vital role in establishment of the Pakistan Study Centre at Peking University.

With his support and cooperation, the centre has embarked upon an ambitious and far-reaching programme of academic exchanges, research and publications relating to Pakistan.

He has published over 200 papers and reports in his field of interest which have been recognized all over the world.

The reception was attended by senior Chinese officials and members of the diplomatic corps.