I wish to express my deep appreciation to you and the Government of Pakistan and the people of Pakistan for honoring me this way.
I think you would be interested to know that for me this is the first time since becoming President of the United States-this is the first citation of this type or any decoration that I have received. I am proud of it.
I want you to know, too, that the citation, the eloquent words that were expressed, I only hope that I can be worthy of those words, of those sentiments, and also to say finally that I accept this award as President of the United States for the American people, but also I accept it in another sense, for more personal reasons, as one who has been, is, and always will be a friend of Pakistan.Note: The President spoke at 6:20 p.m. in the Grey Room at Government House in Lahore. The medal was presented to him by President A. M. Yahya Khan and the citation was read by Pakistani Chief of Protocol M. Anwar Khan, as follows:
Mr. President, the Government and people of Pakistan have the highest regard for your constant efforts to strengthen the ties of friendship and cooperation between Pakistan and the United States of America.
For your personal contribution in bringing about a closer understanding between the peoples of our two countries, and for the deep interest you have shown in Pakistan during your previous visits to our country, for the way in which you have upheld the right of individual freedom and dignity, for your constant efforts to promote greater collaboration between the industrially advanced and developing nations of the world, for your education in the advancement of science and technology that has led to the attainment of new frontiers in human knowledge, and for your unfailing support of the Charter of the United Nations to serve as a bulwark for peace and a just order in the world.
In recognition of these contributions, I, on behalf of the Government and people of Pakistan, give expression to our sentiments of deep regard by presenting to you, Mr. President, the Nishan-e-Pakistan, which is the highest civilian award in our country.