Tuesday, Apr 21, 2015
Published on:January 12, 2009 1:05 am

It’s raining awards for diplomats and dignitaries visiting Pakistan,which has revived memories of former President Gen Zia-ul-Haq who used Pakistan’s national awards as a diplomatic tool to endear influential personalities and diplomats in developed countries. Soon after conferring one of its highest civilian awards — Hilal-i-Qaed-i-Azam — on US diplomat Richard Boucher,Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia,Pakistan’s Government has now bestowed another prestigious civilian award on US Vice-President-elect Joe Biden — the Hilal-i-Pakistan. Incidentally,Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Luo Zhaolui too was conferred the Hilal-i-Qaed-i-Azam a few days before Boucher. The award diplomacy being employed by Zardari’s Government at this time has particular significance,given the immense pressure from the international community to act against perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks. Is Zaradari’s award campaign meant to somewhat cushion the impact of India’s diplomatic onslaught?

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