Another activity of the Society which has generated a great deal of interest is the conferring of a “Jinnah Award” to a person who has rendered outstanding and meritorious services to Pakistan and its people.
In April 1998, the first Jinnah Award was conferred on Abdul Sattar Edhi, the founder and Chairman of Edhi Foundation whose services to Pakistan and its people have been outstanding. In 1999, the second and third awards were conferred posthumously on Mr. Graham Layton, the founder and Chairman of Layton Rehmatullah Benevolent Trust for establishing eye hospitals in Pakistan and to Hakeem Muhammad Saeed for establishing the Hamdard Foundation and Hamdard University.
In April 2003, the fourth award was conferred on was conferred on Dr. Ruth Pfau, Chairperson, Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre, Karachi for outstanding services to Pakistan over a period of more than 40 years. The Award was conferred on behalf of the Society by Pakistan’s Minister for Investment and Privatisation Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh. The Award function was followed by an audio-visual presentation of some aspects of Mr. Jinnah’s life and achievements and a live talk show by Ms. Mahreen Khan with the audience on Mr. Jinnah’s vision for Pakistan. The function was attended by 600 persons, approximately. Mrs. Batool Zakir Mehmood gave a presentation on the life and work of Dr. Ruth Pfau. Jinnah Award is not an annual award but it is granted after a careful choice made by members of the Society in consultation with other eminent citizens of Pakistan.
The recipients of the fifth and sixth Jinnah Awards selected by Members of the Jinnah Society were Dr. Akhter Hameed Khan to whom the award was conferred posthumously for his outstanding and dedicated services to the people of Pakistan in the shape of Orangi Pilot Project. The award was received by his widow Mrs. Shafiq Khan. The other recipients of the award was Dr. Ishrat Hussain a former Governor of State Bank of Pakistan for his vision and services in regulating banking policy which resulted in domestic growth. The Function was held on 28th April 2006 at Pearl-Continental Hotel and was very largely attended by elite of the city. As usual, an inter-active discussion took place between the audience which included students and Dr. Javid Iqbal who was the Chief Guest as well as Dr. Ishrat Hussain. Two Members of the Jinnah Society Syed Ali Raza and Zakir Mehmood had earlier received the civil award of Sitara-e-Imtiaz while another member Ameena Saiyid was conferred the award of OBE by Queen Elizabeth. These three members were awarded special plaques by the Jinnah Society in recognition of their achievements.
Former Air Force Chief and politician, retired Air Marshal Asghar Khan and former Chief Editor - Dawn late Ahmed Ali Khan were selected by the by the Members of the Jinnah Society for the Jinnah Award 2006 and 2007, respectively. At a function which was held at Beach Luxury Hotel, Karachi in April 2009 and very largely attended by the elite of the city, the Jinnah Award 2006 was conferred upon Air Marshal (Retd.) Asghar Khan for his outstanding and dedicated services to the cause of democracy and human rights in Pakistan while the Jinnah Award 2007 was conferred posthumously on Mr. Ahmad Ali Khan for his outstanding services in the field of Journalism. The Award for late Ahmad Ali Khan was received by his widow. Mr. Najam Sethi was the Guest Speaker at this function.
Members of the Jinnah Society selected Dr. Adib Rizvi, Professor and Director, Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) as their nominee for the Jinnah Award 2008, Mr. Ibn Adur Rahman, more familiar as I. A. Rahman, Director of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) for the Jinnah Award 2009 and Mr Imran Khan, Founder and Chairman, Board of Governors, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre for the Jinnah Award 2010. These three persons were honoured for their outstanding services to Pakistan in their respective areas of service. The awards were conferred on them by Sardar Sherbaz Khan Mazari at a ceremony held and hosted by Oxford University Press (Pakistan) on 30th April 2011 at Karachi. Mr. Liaquat Merchant and Mr. Imran Khan addressed the large audience present at the ceremony.
The Jinnah Award for the year 2011 was conferred on Mr. Ardeshir Cowasjee by Mr. Liaquat Merchant, President of the Jinnah Society at a function held on 20th December 2011 at Oxford University Press Pakistan auditorium. Mr. Ardeshir Cowasjee who rendered outstanding services to Pakistan in his respective area of service, was chosen by the members of the Jinnah Society as the recipient of this prestigious Award. Mr. Jamshed Marker the reputed former permanent Representative of Pakistan at the United Nations and its Ambassador was the Chief Guest at the Jinnah Society function. He praised the courage and conviction of Mr. Ardeshir Cowasjee and the campaign which he continued for over two decades against nepotism, corruption and mal-administration in Pakistan. Mrs. Ameena Saiyid the Managing Director, Oxford University Press who is also the Secretary General of the Jinnah Society presented the address of welcome to Mr. Jamshed Marker, Mr. Ardeshir Cowasjee and the guests at the function. The events were widely covered by the media and press.