Kashmir Indepth

When Biden was awarded ‘Hilal-e-Pakistan’

US: US resident elect Joe Biden is a favourite in Pakistan, the country which in 2008 had awarded him ‘Hilal-e-Pakistan’ (Crescent of Pakistan), the country’s second-highest civilian honour.

The then Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari had announced the awards for Biden and Republican Senator Richard Lugar ‘in recognition of their consistent support for Pakistan’.

Biden and Lugar had introduced a bipartisan US aid plan which called for $1.5 billion per year in non-military spending to support economic development in Pakistan.

It was Biden who played a key role in forcing Gen Pervez Musharraf to quit as army chief and in “restoring democracy in Pakistan”.

In 2009, then Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani said that Biden “played a very effective role as chairman of the US foreign relations committee in restoring democracy in Pakistan.”

He, according to media reports then, had said: it was due to Biden’s efforts that Musharraf quit as army chief. 

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