General Ehsan-ul-Haq, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, awarded with the highest French distinction.
The Légion d’Honneur was created by Napoleon in 1802 to acknowledge outstanding achievements in military or civilian life. It is the most prestigious French award. The Légion d’Honneur, which comes in 5 different ranks, is our first National Order, that can be conferred to military but also civilians, French nationals but also foreigners, for the quality of the service rendered to France.
By conferring this famous national award, with the rank of “Officier”, to the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, the French authorities acknowledge the key role played by the Pakistan Armed Forces in our common struggle against terrorism, and the essential role played by General Ehsan Ul Haq in the reinforcement and further development of the relationship between our two countries.
A tradition of cooperation exists since a long time between France and Pakistan, and although many officers have been sent for training to France, the key element of our relationship always revolved around armament issues. As per your assignment you are well aware of the political issues that are always behind such armament deals. Very recently various projects have been cleared by the French authorities, and this clearance is directly linked with your action.
Your personal involvement in stating the Pakistani position, the ground realities in the region and the challenges and opportunities of cooperating with Pakistan has convinced both at the French Joint Staff and at the Ministry Foreign Affairs. Your trip to Paris, in May last year, has opened up a new phase of the relationship between our two countries.
Your direct and friendly contact with your French counterpart, Général Bentegeat, has enabled the resumption of the dialogue at various levels and has facilitated many visits by French general officers and senior diplomats in the recent months. Definitely the relationship is now back on track and is meant to grow further.