|Nishan-e-Imtiaz (Order of Excellence), 3rd class. (1956 - Present)|
|Awarded by the Sovereign, on the advice of the Government|
|Eligibility||Pakistani or Foreign citizen|
|Awarded for||The highest degree of service to the state, and for services to international diplomacy.|
|Sovereign||President of Pakistan|
|Sovereign||Prime minister of Pakistan|
|Grades (w/ post-nominals)||5 grade: Star (1st Class)
Badge (Second Class)
Ribbon (military only)
Collar Chain (4th class)
Medal (5th Class)
|Established||23 March 1956.|
|First induction||19 March 1957|
|Ribbons: military (only)|
The Nishan-i-Imtiaz (Urdu: نشان امتیاز, English: Order of Excellence) is one of the state organized civil decorations of State of Pakistan. It is the highest honour — along with comparable to optimum award Nishan-e-Imtiaz — given to any civilian in Pakistan based on their achievements that caused the world recognition for Pakistan or/ done an outstanding service for the country. The award is not limited to citizens of Pakistan and, while it is a civilian award, it can also be awarded to military personnel and worn on the uniform. Nishan, translates as Decoration/Order, is a highly restricted and prestigious award roughly equivalent to Presidential Medal of Freedom (United States) and Order of the British Empire (United Kingdom), and is the first category award of Order of Imtiaz. The other three descending categories are Hilal-i-Imtiaz, Sitara-i-Imtiaz and Tamgha-e-Imtiaz. Usually, it is regarded as the highest award one can achieve in Pakistan since the optimum award Nishan-e-Pakistan is awarded only to foreign Heads of States.
The award was established in March 19, 1957, following the proclamation of State of Pakistan as Parliamentary republic, by the 1956 Constitution. The award is a top and prestigious decoration in the country. It is given to a person who has accomplished duty beyond what is assigned to him/her. To receive this honour, the individuals are must understand the fact, that just accomplishing routine duty is not the criterion for the award. The person has to show eminence and be outstanding in providing excellent service in a significant field of activity. It means that he/she has to prove that he/she has achieved distinction.
The award may be awarded posthumously and may also be awarded to an individual more than once, though it has not been awarded twice since 1999. Nishan-i-Imtiaz, is an honour given by the Government of Pakistan to both the military officers of the Pakistan Armed Forces and civilians who have done outstanding contributions that prompted world recognition of Pakistan. The award is highly restricted and most prestigious award that is only conferred if the individuals met the criteria and nominations for receiving this honour. For civilians, it is awarded for distinguished merit, honouring their excellence in their respected fields of literature, arts, sports, medicine, or science. The award is usually given to individuals in isolation not in groups because the whole purpose of the award is to assess the recipients individual capabilities in par excellence.
For those in the military it is given after distinguished service and is also the highest medal award that can be awarded to those at the ranks of Generals (Army), Air Chief Marshals (Air Force), and the Admirals (both Navy, Coast Guard, and Marines).
Parliament's committee for Award and Recognition Services for State of Pakistan, selected the names of individuals and sent final report to Prime minister of Pakistan. On advice of Prime minister, the President organized the colorful ceremony that is telecast and broadcast by the PTV.
This award is held once in a year, nominees are announced on the Independence Day and the award ceremony takes place on Pakistan Day in a Presidential Palace. Nishan-i-Imtiaz is awarded to the nominees by the President of Pakistan in a colorful public ceremony broadcast by the PTV.
The badge of the Nishan-e-Imtiaz is in the form of pure golden star with light-white enamel, with well polished green emerald circumference to the inside the golden star. Written in gold words around the green emerald, it reads as نشان امتیاز. A golden Jasminum stands between the point of the star. It is worn around the neck with yellow bright yellow and white ribbon (for civilians only) or/ bright green and white ribbon (for military officers only) with white edge stripes.
A special grade of the medal/award has larger execution of the same medal design worn as a star on the left chest. In addition, it is worn as a sash on the right shoulder, with its rosette (yellow with white (for civilians) or/ green (Military officers only) with white and yellow edge, bearing the central disc of the medal at its center) resting on the left hip. At the ceremony, both medals can be wear at the same time according to their achievements.
For military officers, the medal is accompanied by a ribbon bar for wear on military service uniform, a miniature medal pendant for wear on a mess dress, and a lapel badge for wear on civilian clothes.
- Hakim Said
- Mohammad Abdul Ghafoor Hazarvi* 1958
- Mehdi Hassan* 2012
- Saadat Hassan Manto* 2012
- Faiz Ahmed Faiz* 1990
- Habib Jalib* 2009
- Abdul Sattar Edhi 1989 and 2012
- Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan 2012
- Khalid Ahmed Kidwai 2012
- Irfan Burney 2013
- Aga Khan IV 1970
- Ishfaq Ahmed 1998
- Yaşar Büyükanıt
- Shahid Karimullah
- Abdul Qadeer Khan 1996 and 1999
- Akhtar Hameed Khan* 2001
- Munir Ahmad Khan* 2012
- Rahimuddin Khan
- Dilip Kumar 1997
- Rashad Mahmood
- Pervez Musharraf
- Tariq Majid
- Hilmi Özkök
- Atta ur Rahman 2002
- Shafi ur Rahman
- Riazuddin 1998
- Abdus Salam 1979
- Hakim Said 2002
- Agha Shahi
- Anwar Shamim
- Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada 1998
- Raheel Sharif
- Muhammad Raziuddin Siddiqui 1998
- Civil decorations of Pakistan
- Awards and decorations of the Pakistan Armed Forces
- Government of Pakistan
- Pakistan Defence Forces
- Note: It is usually given all together. Only Military officers from Pakistan Defence Forces are awarded the ribbon which is attached to their respected uniform
- It is also spelled as Nishan-e-Imtiaz in English Language, it is also known as Order of Order of Performance
- Honour and Awards Policy, Government of Pakistan
- The Nishan-e-Imtiaz: Country's Top decoration, Dr. Ghayur Ayub
- Nishan-e-Imtiaz, Pakistan Tribune