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|Awarded for||Acts of greatest heroism in circumstances of extreme danger,in the presence of the enemy on land, at sea or in the air.In addition the person must have also died in the line of duty.|
|Country||Islamic Republic of Pakistan|
|Presented by||Government of Pakistan|
|Eligibility||Military personnel only|
|Established||16 March 1957  (applied retrospectively from 1948 onwards)|
|First awarded||16 March 1957 – Indo-Pakistani War of 1947, Captain Muhammad Sarwar, Pakistan army|
|Last awarded||15 July 1999 – Kargil War, Havildar Lalak Jan, Pakistan army|
|Total||11 (1 Hilal-e-Kashmir)|
|Total awarded posthumously||11|
Nishan-e-Haider (NH; Urdu: نشان حیدر, lit. 'Mark of the Lion'), is the highest military gallantry award of Pakistan. Nishan-e-Haider literally means "Emblem of the Lion" in the Urdu language. The word "Haider" is also the epithet of Ali, who is referred to as the 'Lion of Allah', a valiant warrior and leader. Ali was the fourth Caliph of Islam and declared bravest person by Muhammad. He is known by his courage, bravery and power in Islam.
The Nishan-e-Haider can only be awarded to members of the Pakistan Armed Forces for the highest acts of extraordinary bravery in the face of the enemy in air, land, or sea. Its exclusivity can be gauged by the fact that, since Pakistan's independence in 1947, it has been awarded only 11 times (now eleven, due to Hilal-e-Kashmir declared as Nishan-e-Haider). At one point in time the Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan was asked why it was only awarded posthumously, his response reportedly that if it is awarded to a living person he may be involved in dishonourable conduct in the future which may disgrace the Award.
The Nishan-e-Haider was established by the Government of Pakistan and named after Ali on 14 August 1947, the year that Pakistan became a republic. It was applied retrospectively from the date of Pakistan's independence on 14 August 1947. It is Pakistan's highest award and takes precedence over all military and civil awards. Of the ten Nishan-e-Haider recipients to date, nine have been from the Army and one from the Air Force.
The Nishan-e-Haider can be awarded to all ranks of the Armed Forces for showing feats of extraordinary courage in confronting the enemy. As a matter of practice and precedent, it has only been awarded where it has been established that the recipient acted despite high risks and was martyred(shaheed) in the act.
The Nishan-e-Haider is manufactured by Pakistan Mint on the order of the Ministry of Defence. It is forged from captured enemy equipment and consists of 88% copper, 10% gold, and 2% zinc.
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