It’s raining awards for diplomats and dignitaries visiting Pakistan,which has revived memories of former President Gen Zia-ul-Haq who used Pakistans 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,Pakistans 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 Zardaris 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 Zaradaris award campaign meant to somewhat cushion the impact of Indias diplomatic onslaught?
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