Islamabad - Government of Indonesia on Wednesday conferred the highest military awards ‘Bintang Jalasena Utama’ and ‘Bintang Yudha Dharma Utama’ on Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Mohammad Asif Sandila.

The awards have conferred in recognition of Sandila’s distinguished services and significant contributions in strengthening the bilateral relationship between the two brotherly nations in general and navies in particular.

According to the Pakistan Navy, a special ceremony in this regard was held at Embassy of Indonesia, Islamabad, where Burhan Muhammad, the ambassador of Republic of Indonesia, conferred the awards on the naval chief on behalf of the government of Indonesia.

While complementing the naval chief on receiving both these exclusive medals of honour, the Indonesian ambassador said that it is a unique yet special occasion that these two awards have been conferred on Admiral M Asif Sandila by the Indonesian government at the same time in recognition of his valuable contribution for the advancement of bilateral defence cooperation between the naval forces of Indonesia and Pakistan.

Before that, the highest Indonesian civil award “Adipurna” has been conferred on the founding Father of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in 1997 in appreciation of his services for strengthening fraternal relationship between the two countries.

Speaking on the occasion, Sandila thanked the Indonesian government for acknowledging his contribution in strengthening the military cooperation between the two countries. He said that all Pakistanis have special place in their hearts for the people of Indonesia for the assistance received in 1965 war, and similarly, sailing of Pakistan Navy Task Force during humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in 2005 in the wake of tsunami. Rendering of these reciprocating assistance by both the countries are reminders that distances cannot separate the people of both countries.

The ceremony was attended by a large number of civil and military officers and dignitaries.