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|Awarded by the President of Pakistan in the name of the Government of Pakistan|
|Type||Pakistan military medal with service ribbon
|Eligibility||Military personnel only|
|Awarded for||Acts of greatest heroism or of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme danger, and bravery of the highest order, or devotion to the country in the presence of the enemy on land, at sea or in the air.|
|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|
Nishan-e-Haider (Urdu: نشان حیدر) (abbreviated as "NH") is Pakistan's highest military gallantry award. "Nishan-e-Haider" literally means "Mark of the Lion" in the Urdu language. The word "Haider" is also the epithet of Hazrat Ali.
The Nishan-e-Haider can only be awarded to members of the Pakistan Armed Forces for the highest acts of extraordinary bravery in face of the enemy in air, land or sea. Although some consider it equivalent to the British Victoria Cross and the United States Medal of Honor, it is unique in that it has so far been awarded only posthumously. Its exclusivity can be gauged by the fact that, since Pakistan's independence in 1947, it was awarded only ten times (now count is eleven, as Hilal-e-Kashmir is awarded equal to Nishan-e-Haider).
The Nishan-e-Haider was established by the Government of Pakistan and named after Ali ibn Abi Talib on 16 March 1957, the year that Pakistan became a republic. It was applied retroactively 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 killed in the act.
The Nishan-e-Haider is manufactured by Pakistan Mint on order of the Ministry of Defence. It is forged from captured enemy equipment and consists of 88% copper, 10% tin and 2% zinc.
- Awards and decorations of the Pakistan Armed Forces
- Pakistan Military
- Shaheeds of Pakistan
- Ethnicity of Nishan-e-Haider Holders of Pakistan
- "Honours and Awards".
- "ODM of Pakistan: Order of the Lion".
- "Honours and Awards". Pakistan Army. Retrieved 6 June 2009.
- "Nishan e Haider holders of Pakistan Army ~ PAKISTAN DEFENCE BLOG". www.defenceblog.org. Retrieved 2015-08-24.