President of Pakistan confers the highest military award to CDS

The Chief of Defence Staff of Sri Lanka, Admiral Ravindra C. Wijegunaratne was awarded the Nishan-e-Imtiaz (Military) Medal by HE the President of Pakistan at a Special investiture Ceremony held at Islamabad, Pakistan on 13th February 2019.

Admiral was the first Sri Lankan Military officer to earn a BSc (Honours) (War Studies) degree from the Karachi University in 1995. He was considered as an expert in “Asymmetric Naval Warfare” and “Small Boat Operations” and founder of Naval Commando Unit of Sri Lanka Navy, the Special Boats Squadron (SBS).

He is a regular visiting lecturer of the Pakistan Navy War College, Lahore to lecture on his battle experiences and Asymmetric Naval Warfare. His efforts to improve Military to Military relationship between two countries as Commander of the Navy and later as the Chief of Defence Staff are highly recognized by Pakistan. In 2018, with his initiative, Military to Military Staff talks between the two countries were elevated to a Defence Dialogue.

The Nishan-i-Imtiaz (order of Excellence) is the highest honour given to any civilian in Pakistan based on their achievements towards world recognition for Pakistan or 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 uniform.

It is regarded as the highest award one can achieve in Pakistan since higher award, Nishan-e-Pakistan is awarded only to foreign Heads of States.

For those in the Military, it is given after distinguished service and is also highest award that can be awarded to those in the ranks of General (Army) Air Chief Marshal (Air Force) and Admiral of Navy, Coast Guard and Marines.

Nishan-e-Imtiaz or Order of Imtiaz is highly restricted and prestigious award generally equivalent to the Presidential Medal of Freedom (USA) and Order of British Empire (UK).