The Government of Pakistan has awarded prestigious civil award Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Star of Excellence) to the veteran Sri Lankan broadcaster, media consultant and Chairman Kashmir Study Forum Sri Lanka Mohamed Jamaludeen.He was decorated with Sitara-i-Imtiaz by the President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain in an impressive ceremony on the National Day of Pakistan held at Aiwan-e-Sadr, in Islamabad. The award was conferred on Jamaaldeen in recognition of his commitment to the freedom struggle of the people of Kashmir and his meritorious services to the Kashmir Cause, the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo said today. The Special Ceremony was attended by Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, federal ministers, parliamentarians, diplomats, high civil and military officials and people belonging to different walks of life. On retirement from Radio Ceylon, he established “Kashmir Study Forum” in early nineties. The prime goal of this organization was to create awareness in Sri Lankan people about the Kashmir cause. The Forum commemorates Kashmir Solidarity Day on 5th February and the Kashmir Black Day on 27th October every year. He has also published a book titled “Kashmir an Orphan in the United Nations”.During the Special Investiture Ceremony, President Mamnoon Hussain conferred 70 military and 84 civil awards upon various personalities from different walks of life for their meritorious services in different fields on the occasion of Pakistan Day. Jamaludeen, Former Director Radio Ceylon had dedicated his post retirement life in support of Kashmir cause since 1991. Born on 23rd March 1934, he graduated from University of Lucknow, India. During his stay in India he visited Kashmir as a young student and developed sympathy and affection for the Kashmiri people who were compelled to live in oppressed environment. Sitara-e-Imtiaz, is the third highest honour and civilian award in the State of Pakistan, which recognizes individuals who have made “especially meritorious contribution to the world peace, security or national interests of Pakistan, cultural or other significant public endeavors”. It is one of the most distinguished civil decorations to the individuals who have made outstanding contribution in their respected fields such as literature, arts, sports, medicine, or science, which prompted the recognition of the country on international level. This award is not limited to the citizens of Pakistan, and it can also be awarded to foreign citizens based on their achievements and services done to the State of Pakistan.
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The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) said the trial by VaxGen using the AIDSVAX vaccine appears to show a protective effect among non-Caucasian populations, especially African Americans, although sample sizes were small. However, for the majority of the participants, who were Caucasians, the effect of the vaccine was minimal. “These results are promising. The trial provides clear evidence that a vaccine can work,” said Dr. Peter Piot, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “However, there is an urgent need for more targeted research to find out why the candidate vaccine only seems to work in certain population sub-groups.” The company stressed that the results announced today only represent findings from an initial analysis. The two UN agencies also stated that an effective vaccine providing widespread protection is still not on the horizon. The AIDSVAX Phase III trial was the first large-scale human trial of an HIV vaccine, with over 5,400 volunteers from the United States, Canada, and the Netherlands, the majority of whom were men who have sex with men. The vaccine used in this trial was designed to reduce susceptibility to infection with HIV subtype B, which is prevalent in the Americas, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand. One of the major challenges in HIV vaccine development is to develop one or multiple vaccines effective against all major subtypes of HIV. “Continued HIV vaccine research remains an urgent global need,” said Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, Director-General of WHO. “We will need many more trials to develop effective HIV vaccines, particularly against the most prevalent HIV sub-types which are having a devastating impact on populations in sub-Saharan Africa.”