Lancashire Member of the European Parliament Sajjad Karim MEP,has been awarded Pakistan’s highest national honour to non-Pakistanis for services which have helped the country.
He is one of only two people to receive the award this year. The “Sitara-i-qaid-i-Azam” has been awarded to Sajjad, from Simonstone, for his services to strengthen Pakistan/UK and Pakistan/EU relations.
In December, following an eight year campaign, the European Parliament finally approved GSP+ trade status for Pakistan. In recognition of his work towards achieving this, Sajjad Karim was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Management and Technology in Lahore and travelled to Pakistan to be presented with the award by the Governor of Punjab, Mohammad Sarwar, himself a past Member of the UK Parliament at Westminster.
Sajjad, a former Pendle councillor, works closely with British Prime Minister David Cameron who has acknowledged Sajjad’s work saying, “You are a great ambassador for the party, the region and the United Kingdom.”
Commenting on receiving the award, Sajjad said: “Through my role and working with colleague in both the UK and EU parliaments, I have been privileged to be able to take a lead in ensuring that we have delivered vital trade deals that are opening up new markets for Pakistan in all our EU countries.
“I am greatly humbled at this announcement by the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif. As a British Pakistani I always do my utmost to promote positive relations within the UK British Pakistani community and work to move Pakistan’s economy and democracy forward whilst safeguarded human rights in doing so.”