Pak confers Sitara-i-Imtiaz on late Nirmala Deshpande | world | Hindustan Times
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Pak confers Sitara-i-Imtiaz on late Nirmala Deshpande

world Updated: Aug 14, 2009 02:26 IST

Pakistan on Thursday conferred the Sitara-i-Imtiaz, one of its highest civilian honours, on late Gandhian Nirmala Deshpande on the eve of its Independence Day.

The award was posthumously conferred on Deshpande by President Asif Ali Zardari for her services to Pakistan.

Deshpande, who died in May last year, had worked for better relations between India and Pakistan over the past few decades.

The Hilal-i-Pakistan, another top civilian award, was conferred on US Senator John Kerry, Gen Liang Guanglie of China and Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary-General of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference for their services to Pakistan.

Kerry is one of the main sponsors of the Kerry-Lugar Bill to boost economic aid to Pakistan.

Liang is a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and Central Military Commission who was recognised for his strong support for defence cooperation between Pakistan and China.

Ihsanoglu was recognised for "promoting the cause of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute", said a statement from the Foreign Office.