Bill Gates conferred
Hilal-e-Pakistan award,
discusses IT projects
with Imran Khan


ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi Thursday conferred Hilal-e-Pakistan on American technologist and philanthropist Bill Gates in recognition of his meritorious services to the people of Pakistan, particularly for the eradication of polio.

ISLAMABAD: President Dr. Arif Alvi conferring the Hilal-e-Pakistan ward on Bill Gates. 

The award was given at a special investiture ceremony held at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, attended by Begum Samina Alvi, federal ministers and senior officials.

Born in 1955 in Seattle Washington, Bill Gates is a co-founder of Microsoft Corporation, the world’s largest personal-computer software company.

Currently, he co-chairs the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with Melinda French Gates, supporting a wide range of public health projects, granting aid to fight transmissible diseases such AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, as well as widespread vaccine programs to eradicate polio.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan talks to Bill Gates during their meeting at Prime Minister’s Office in Islamabad

The Foundation is playing a critical role for the elimination of polio in Pakistan as well as supporting the financial system through various interventions.

It focuses on eliminating global inequities and increasing opportunities for those in need through programs addressing global agricultural and economic development, medical research and public health initiatives in developing countries.

In 1975, Bill Gates started Microsoft with a vision of “a computer on every desktop and in every home” which has now been realized in many parts of the world.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan talks to Bill Gates during luncheon meeting.

In 2010, Bill and Melinda challenged the global health community to declare this the Decade of Vaccines. They pledged $10 billion over the next 10 years to help research, develop, and deliver vaccines for the world’s poorest countries.

In 2017, the Foundation committed $300 million to helping farmers in Africa and Asia cope with climate change. In 2020, the Foundation committed about $1.75 billion to support the global response to COVID-19.

Meeting with Imran Khan

Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates met Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday during his first-ever visit to Pakistan.

Sharing pictures of the meeting on Twitter, Senator Faisal Javed Khan said Gates “greatly appreciated steps [regarding polio eradication] in Pakistan, the National Command and Operation Centre’s (NCOC) performance in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic and initiatives such as the Ehsaas programme”.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan and Bill Gates and Federal Cabinet ministers present at a Luncheon meeting.

Later in the day, PM Imran hosted a luncheon in Gates’ honour. The Prime Minister’s Office, which shared pictures from the luncheon, added that the Microsoft co-founder was visiting the country on the premier’s “special invitation”.

NCOC visit

Earlier in the day, Gates met Planning and Development Minister and NCOC head Asad Umar and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr Faisal Sultan. In a statement, the NCOC said the philanthropist attended the forum’s morning session.

Bill Gates (R) attends a session of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Thursday.

During his visit, Gates was informed about the NCOC’s role and methodology, its achievements since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the coronavirus situation in Pakistan as well as the non-pharmaceutical interventions by the forum to control the spread of the disease.

Bill Gates (R) attends a session of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Thursday. — Photo via NCOC

Gates and his delegation were also informed about genome sequencing and coronavirus variants detected in Pakistan, the statement added. “Gates took keen interest on various initiatives by NCOC, particularly smart lockdown and micro-smart lockdown strategy enforcement measures and Pakistan’s vaccine administration regime which enabled NCOC to formulate and implement a comprehensive Covid response.”