- PTI, Islamabad
- Updated: Apr 21, 2015 15:56 IST
Chinese President Xi Jinping, left and Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif attend a press conference after their talks in Islamabad. (AP)
Pakistan conferred the Nishan-e-Pakistan, its top civilian award, on Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday, lauding his “outstanding contribution in the promotion of the relationship between the two countries”.
President Mamnoon Hussain conferred the award on 61-year-old Xi during a ceremony held at the President’s House.
The ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, federal ministers, members of the National Assembly and Senate, the three service chief and the Chinese delegation.
The award was given for Xi’s contribution in promoting China’s relationship with Pakistan. Xi, also the General-Secretary of the ruling Communist party, was given a warm welcome on his arrival in the President’s House in a traditional horse carriage.
He held bilateral talks with Hussain, who later hosted a luncheon in his honour. Xi, who is in Pakistan on his first state visit, unveiled a $46 billion corridor project.
The Nishan-e-Pakistan is Pakistan’s highest civil award given by the government for the highest degree of service to the country. The award was established in March 1957.
Unlike other honours, it is a highly restricted and most prestigious award and is only conferred for meritorious and distinguished services to Pakistan, the international community and foreign relations. Nelson Mandela, Queen Elizabeth II, Morarji Desai and Dwight Eisenhower are among the recepients of the award.