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Former Pakistan army officer awarded one of India’s top civilian honours. Here’s why

Former Pakistan army officer awarded one of India's top civilian honours. Here's why

A former Pakistan army officer was awarded the prestigious Padma awards. The award is given to people who have made distinguishing and remarkable contributions to a cause or their professions. Read to find out why a former Pak soldier is now a Padma Shri awardee.

Former Pakistan army officer awarded Padma Shri

Retired Lieutenant Colonel Qazi Sajjad Ali Zahir, a former Pakistan army officer, recently got the Padma Shri. The former soldier, awarded India’s highest civilian medals for his contribution and efforts for India’s victory in the 1971 war. India’s victory in the war played a crucial role in forming Bangladesh. Additionally, the Pakistani soldier’s narrative is brimming with bravery. He also risked his life by moving over to India and aiding in the liberation of Bangladesh.

“President Kovind presented Padma Shri to Lt Col Qazi Sajjad Ali Zahir (Retd.) for Public Affairs. He is an independent researcher and author on the Bangladesh Liberation War. He joined the War of Liberation and participated in many battles alongside the Indian Army,” tweeted the official handle of the President.

Why was Lt. Colonel Zahir awarded India’s prestigious award?

Why was Lt. Colonel Zahir awarded India's prestigious award?

Until now, Lt. Colonel Zahir’s name, unannounced because of how sensitive the military business is. But, announced and brought under the spotlight when he stepped up on the podium to receive the award. The Indian government finally recognized his efforts for providing intelligence and freeing Bangladesh.

This year, India and Bangladesh commemorated the golden jubilee of the 1971’s liberation war. Additionally, the Padma Shri bestowed on Lt. Colonel Zahir has additional significance as he turns 71 this year. After all, the number has personal significance to both Indians and Bangladeshis. Lt. Colonel Zahir’s accounts of bravery and strength are exceptional. Additionally, there is a pending death sentence in his name in Pakistan for the past 50 years.