Mar 29 - Apr 4, 2010

KCCI's representatives and eminent businessmen Maqsood Ismail and M. Arif Balgamwala received President of Pakistan's Tamgha-i-Imtiaz from Governor of Sindh, Dr. Ishrat ul Ibad Khan on Pakistan Day.

President Asif Ali Zardari conferred National Civil Award - Tamgha-i-Imtiaz to Muhammad Arif Balgamwala and Maqsood Ismail, on 14th August, 2009.

Prominent industrialist Maqsood Ismail is serving the business community of Pakistan since last several decades. He has served as the President of Lasbella Chamber of Commerce & Industry and actively involved in the business and industrial activities of Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Lasbella Chamber of Commerce & Industry. He has also served as the Vice President of FPCCI. Maqsood Ismail also holds the distinction of serving as Chairman of Export Processing Zone Authority and as the Government's nominated Director for IDBP. In recognition of outstanding and meritorious services in the field of Public Service, President of Pakistan conferred on Maqsood Ismail, the award of Tamgha-i-Imtiaz.

Maqsood Ismail & M. Arif Balgamwala expressed their cordial gratitude and thanks to the honourable President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari for recognizing their national and international achievement as Pakistan's leading philatelist and honouring them the National Civil Award - Tamgha-i-Imtiaz.

First-time in the 63 years history of Pakistan, M. Arif Balgamwala received President of Pakistan's Tamgha-i-Imtiaz in recognition of his most exceptional performance as one of the most distinguished philatelists being acclaimed worldwide and for his most outstanding and excellent performance as Pakistan's first-ever philatelist, who has brought recognition and fame for Pakistan by winning several times gold medals including 5 gold, 3 large gold, 2 best exhibits, FIP Championship Class (large gold) in the international exhibitions. He achieved 44 medals in National Exhibitions and 58 medals in World Exhibitions. On the occasion of announcement of President's Tamgha-i-Imtiaz, M. Arif Balgamwala was acting as sitting Managing Committee Member and Chairman Diplomatic Affairs Committee of Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

Siraj Kassam Teli, Chairman Businessmen Group (BMG) and former President of Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Tahir Khaliq, M. Zubair Motiwala, Haroon Farooki, Anjum Nisar, Former Presidents of KCCI, Abdul Majid Haji Muhammad, President-KCCI, Rasheeduddin Rashid, Senior Vice President-KCCI, Javed Ahmed Vohra, Vice President-KCCI and Members Managing Committee-KCCI expressed their cordial felicitations to M. Arif Balgamwala and Maqsood Ismail for getting National Civil Award- Tamgha-i-Imtiaz. They commended the meritorious efforts of Maqsood Ismail for promoting trade and industry during his tenures as Vice President FPCCI and President of Lasbella Chamber of Commerce & Industry. They were of the opinion that M. Arif Balgamwala has not only brought dignity and fame for Pakistan in worldwide philately but his international & national achievement has also brought pride for KCCI and the business community.

They also appreciated him for rendering remarkable services to KCCI and the business community of Karachi as KCCI-Managing Committee Member. They also appreciated and congratulated him for his efforts for designing and issuance of commemorative postage stamp issued by Pakistan Post on the 75th Anniversary of KCCI's historical building. They also expressed their compliments to President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari for honouring National Civil Award to M. Arif Balgamwala.

M. Arif Balgamwala stated that it is an honour for him to get the Civil Award of Pakistan. He ensured that with more zeal, enthusiasm and commitment, he will continue his expedition, represent Pakistan in the globe and bring more fame and dignity to Pakistan by winning more gold medals and awards.

It is pertinent to mention here that he is the first-ever Pakistani in the last 63 years history of Pakistan to get Large Gold along with Best Exhibitor and Special Prize Winning twice at Pacific Explorer 2004 & 2005 World Stamp Exhibition, Australia. He is also the only Exhibitor of the World to win Best Exhibit Award twice. M. Arif Balgamwala's voyage for winning International Awards and acclaim started in 1976 and till date he had won 58 Medals in International Exhibitions and 42 Medals in the National Exhibitions.

M. Arif Balgamwala is also the only philatelist of Pakistan to arrange 15 solo exhibitions for promotion of Pakistan's philately. He is also the member of several philatelic societies and institutions worldwide and he frequently delivers lectures on important occasions. He is also the author of books viz Gems of Pakistan, Postal Stationery and Stamps Overprinted Pakistan, Pakistan overprints 1947-1949 Catalogue, Pakistan Banknotes and Coins Catalogue 1947-2001. He has also presented many programmes regarding Philately in Pakistan in the leading TV channels and written numerous articles for print media. He is a prominent businessmen of Karachi and sitting Advisor to Chairman of Diplomatic Affairs Committee of KCCI. He is also nominated as the Chairman of Pakistan Chemicals & Dyes Merchants Association.