ISLAMABAD (Agencies): Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has bestowed the prestigious Nishan-e-Pakistan upon Saudi Arabian Defence Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman. This esteemed award is reserved for individuals who have rendered exceptional services in the interest of Pakistan.

Earlier that day, the Saudi royal graced a Pakistani military parade as the guest of honor, marking the 84th anniversary of Pakistan’s Republic Day. This significant occasion commemorates the adoption of the Lahore Resolution by the Muslim League on March 23, 1940, which called for the establishment of an independent state for Indian Muslims.

The award ceremony took place at the Presidency and was attended by Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, federal ministers, top military leaders, and members of the diplomatic corps.

According to the state-run APP, Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud received the award in recognition of his meritorious services to Pakistan. These services include enhancing defense cooperation, strengthening bilateral ties, and contributing to peace efforts in the region.

During his visit, Prince Khalid also engaged in discussions with Prime Minister Sharif on regional matters and defense cooperation. Pakistan’s Minister for Defense, Khawaja Asif, and Chief of Army Staff, General Syed Asim Munir, were also present at the meeting.

The official statement emphasized discussions on regional peace and security, as well as the potential for increased cooperation in defense and security sectors between the two nations.

Prime Minister Sharif expressed gratitude, stating, “Saudi Arabia has consistently stood by Pakistan, playing a pivotal role in improving our economic situation during my previous term as prime minister.”

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