Highest civilian award, Nishan-e-Pakistan to be conferred to Dawoodi Bohra head

Highest civilian award, Nishan-e-Pakistan to be conferred to Dawoodi Bohra head

Islamabad, Nov 23 (PTI) Dr Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, head of the Mumbai-based Dawoodi Bohra sect of Islam, will be conferred ‘Nishan-e-Pakistan’, making him the fourth Indian to be honoured with Pakistan’s highest civilian award.

The announcement of the award comes as an acknowledgement of Dr Saiduddin’s services, according to a statement by Pakistan President Arif Alvi, who approved the conferment on Wednesday. The date for the investiture ceremony was, however, not made public.

Nishan-e-Pakistan or the Grand Cross of the Order of Pakistan is the highest civilian honour awarded for services of highest distinction to the national interest of Pakistan. It is equivalent to Nishan-e-Haider, the highest military gallantry award.

President Alvi approved the conferment of the civil award under Article 259 (2) of the Constitution and the Decorations Act 1975.

Each year, the announcement of awards is made on August 14, Pakistan’s Independence Day, and the awards are conferred next year on Pakistan National Day, observed on March 23. But in special cases, these dates are not followed and the investiture can be arranged anytime.

Dr Saifuddin, the head of the Dawoodi Bohra community spread across over 40 countries, including a sizeable congregation in Pakistan, is the 53rd Da’i al-Mutlaq of the order. The Dawoodi Bohras carry out developmental works to benefit the underprivileged in all these countries.

As per the official website of the Dawoodi Bohras, the community traces its heritage to the Fatimi Imams, direct descendants of the Prophet Mohammed, in Egypt. “The Dawoodi Bohras throughout the world are guided by their leader known as the al-dai al-mutlaq (unrestricted missionary), who first operated from Yemen and then, for the last 450 years, from India,” it said.

Morarji Desai was the first Indian to be honoured with Nishan-e-Pakistan, which was conferred on him by President Ghulam Ishaq Khan in 1990. Later thespian Dilip Kumar was given this award in 1998 and Kashmiri separatist leader Ali Geelani was also awarded Nishan-e-Pakistan in 2020. PTI SH NPK AKJ NPK NPK

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