The President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, today conferred the Nishan-i-Pakistan, the nation’s highest civilian award, on Prince Rahim. The award recognises individuals who have rendered services of the highest distinction to Pakistan, and was given at Aiwan-e-Sadr, the President’s official residence in Islamabad.

Prince Rahim is currently visiting Pakistan to review AKDN projects in renewable energy, microfinance, and information technology, as well as meet government officials and leaders of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and the Ismaili community.

Noting Prince Rahim’s role as Chair of the Executive Committee of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development and Chair of the Aga Khan Development Network’s Environment and Climate Committee, the award citation stated:

“Prince Rahim Aga Khan, through his many leadership roles within the Aga Khan Development Network, has, for more than a quarter century, dedicated his untiring efforts to improving the quality of life of peoples in resource-constrained regions of Asia and Africa...His personal engagement in assuring that initiatives impacting the economic, health, educational and cultural well-being of poor and marginalised communities respond to evolving and contemporary needs, upholds a multigenerational legacy that traces its origins, in Pakistan, to the founding of the nation.”

Upon receiving the Nishan-i-Pakistan, Prince Rahim said: “I am honoured to accept such a distinguished award on behalf of the Aga Khan Development Network, my colleagues, our staff, and the many volunteers who work tirelessly to improve the lives of the people of Pakistan. I express my warmest gratitude to the President and Government of Pakistan for this immense recognition.”

In attendance at the ceremony were Jamati and AKDN leaders, as well as government representatives and members of the diplomatic community.

Mawlana Hazar Imam received this award in 1983 for his social and economic welfare activities in Pakistan, in the Muslim Ummah as a whole, and in the developing world. Past recipients include other world leaders, such as Nelson Mandela and Queen Elizabeth II.