Maldives confers top national award on Pakistani naval commander

Wednesday, 16 October 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

President of Maldives Mohamed Waheed Hassan today conferred ‘Nishaan Muleege Sharafge Izzaiy’ one of the highest ranking honours on Admiral Mohamed Asif Sandila, Chief of the Naval Staff Pakistan in recognition of valuable assistance in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami. At the time of the tsunami, Admiral Mohamed Asif Sandila was the Mission Commander of the two Pakistan Naval Ships, P.N.S Tariq and P.N.S Nasr, which were on a goodwill visit to Maldives. The Pakistan Navy ships went into prompt action as the initial responders to a critical situation and provided much needed support and assistance. The medal was conferred upon Admiral Sandila in recognition of his dedicated efforts to provide vital humanitarian assistance in conducting search and rescue operations, evacuating of citizens and tourists from afflicted islands, conducting the initial damage assessment, and providing critical food and relief supplies to devastated islands in the aftermath of the devastating tsunami that hit the Maldives on December 26, 2004. Speaking at the function, President Waheed noted that at the time of the worst ever natural disaster in the recent history of Maldives, Admiral Sandila proved above and beyond the call of duty to be a source of exemplary service and dedication which was symbolic of the long standing fraternal relation between the Maldives and Pakistan. Admiral Asif Sandila thanked the Government and the people of the Maldives for awarding him the prestigious award and said he considered the award a great honour and pride for himself, the Pakistani Navy and his country. He also commended the efforts of the Government, the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) and the people of Maldives for the prompt action taken during the immediate aftermath of the tsunami. Nishaan Muleege Sharafge Izzaiy (Order of Distinguished Rule of Muleege) was created in honour of Al-Sultan Mohamed Shamsuddeen and is one of the high ranking honours conferred by the State. Admiral Sandila is also scheduled to meet with Minister of Defence and National Security Colonel (Rtd) Mohamed Nazim during his two day official visit.