Pakistani int’l civil servant receives highest honour

ISLAMABAD (APP): Representative of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to Lao People’s Democratic Republic Nasar Hayat on Monday received a Cross-of-Friendship Medal from the Lao government, for his contributions to the country’s development.
The medal is the highest civil award of the Lao government that can be conferred on a foreign national, according to a press release. The award marks the completion of Nasar Hayat’s four-and-half-year tenure as a UNFAO Representative in Lao PDR, where he headed the FAO programme focused on the development of the agriculture sector, food security and disaster resilience in the country.
Laos, which borders Thailand, China, Cambodia and Vietnam, and has a population of 7 million, is one of the least developed countries in the world. The award was presented by Phoxay Khaykhamphithoune, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, on behalf of the Prime Minister of Lao PDR.
The ceremony was also attended by senior Lao officials from various ministries including the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, along with the officials of the UN agencies. In his speech at the ceremony, he expressed his gratitude to the Government of Lao PDR for the honour.
“I am proud that through FAO’s support, the sector of agriculture has been recognized as a key driver of economic growth in Laos. I am also pleased to have played a significant role in helping Lao communities to adapt to climate change,” he remarked. Prior to his tenure as FAO Representative in Lao PDR, Hayat served as Assistant FAO Representative in Pakistan.
He started his career in 1995 as a Pakistani Civil Servant. His tenure with the Government of Pakistan included terms as Protocol Officer and then Section Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan as well as Pakistan’s Deputy High Commissioner to Maldives. Nasar Hayat also worked at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and at the Asian Development Bank in Pakistan.