Seven Pak lawmakers refuse to accept 'Nishan-i-Imtiaz'

The lawmakers were conferred the honour on the occasion of Pakistan Day. They were part of the 26-member Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Reforms and included a Senator from the ruling PPP. They declined to receive the civilian award for different reasons.

The seven men did not attend yesterday's investiture ceremony at the Presidency where President Asif Ali Zardari decorated 130 recipients of civilian and military awards.
Three lawmakers of the opposition PML-N collectively decided not to accept the awards in line with their party's protest during the presidential address to a joint sitting of parliament on Tuesday.

PML-N spokesman Ahsan Iqbal said there was consensus in his party that it would send a wrong message to people if its members received an award from the President just a day after their boycott of his speech in parliament.

Three Senators from Balochistan, including Lashkari Raisani of the PPP, did not accept the award to protest the deteriorating law and order situation in their province.
Raisani, the brother of Balochistan Chief Minister Aslam Raisani, told the Dawn newspaper he could not receive the medal at a time when bodies were being found in his province daily in the presence of personnel of secret agencies.

"The (secret) agencies people are roaming freely in my province. People are being killed daily and mutilated bodies are found. So how can I receive the award even if it is announced by the government of my own party? My conscience did not allow me to do so," he said.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman skipped the ceremony to protest US drone attacks in the tribal areas though a Senator from his party received the award from the President.

Two lawmakers of the PML-Q and Jamaat-e-Islami who were part of the parliamentary panel received their awards.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had announced the grant of the highest civilian award of Nishan-i-Imtiaz to all 26 members of the parliamentary panel in recognition of their services.

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