The Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Urdu: ستارۂ امتياز), also spelled as Sitara-e-Imtiaz (English: Star of Excellence), is the third highest honour and civilian award in the State of Pakistan. It recognizes individuals who have made an "especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of Pakistan, world peace, cultural or other significant public endeavors".
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. While, it is a civilian award, it can also be awarded to military officers of the Pakistan Defence Forces worn on their uniform for recognition of their services to the country. Like other awards, it is a highly restricted and prestigious award only given to those who have done great services to the country. It is one of the most distinguished civil decorations to the civilians 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. It is given to a person who has accomplished duty beyond what is assigned to him/her. To receive this honor, the individuals are expected to show eminence and be outstanding in providing excellent service in a significant field of activity beyond what they are assigned to.
For officers in the military, it is given after distinguished service, and is also the highest medal that can be awarded to those at the rank of Brigadier-General or Major-General in the (Army), Air-Commodores or Air Vice-Marshals in the (Air Force) and Commodore or Rear-Admiral in the (Navy, Coast Guard, and Marines). The Parliament's Committee for Award and Recognition Services for State of Pakistan, selects the names of individuals and sends final report to the Prime minister of Pakistan. On advice of the Prime minister, the President organizes a colorful ceremony that is telecast and broadcast by the Pakistan Television Corporation. The award is usually given to individuals one by one and not in groups because the whole purpose of the award is to assess the recipient's individual capabilities in par excellence.
The award is a disc of golden Jasminum which stands between two and five points of the star, and is also of pure gold. The star is in the form of a five pointed star, with additional bright coloured Jasminum filling in space between points of the star. In the middle of the star, a well polished green emerald circumference fills the inside of the golden star. A smaller golden star is situated in the middle of the emerald field.
A special grade of the medal/award has larger execution of the same medal design worn as a star on the left chest. In addition, it is worn as a sash on the right shoulder, with its rosette [yellow with white (for civilians) or/ green (for military officers only) with white and yellow edge, bearing the central disc of the medal at its center] resting on the left hip. At the formal ceremony, both medals can be worn at the same time depending upon the individual's achievements. The medal is suspended on a ribbon, dark green color with a light yellow and white central stripe with white edge stripes.
|Awarded by The President of Pakistan on the advice of the Government|
|Eligibility||Pakistani or Foreign citizen|
|Awarded for||The highest degree of service to the state, and for services to international diplomacy.|
|Sovereign||President of Pakistan|
|Sovereign||Prime minister of Pakistan|
|First induction||19 March 1957|
Ribbons: for military personnel only