Mehwish Hayat, who was awarded the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz on Pakistan Day, dedicated it to "all the other girls in Pakistan who have a dream".
The actor penned an emotional post on Instagram recalling her journey to the silver screen and said, "An eight-year-old girl went to the PTV studios holding her mother’s hand tightly.
She was totally clueless about all the hustle and bustle going on around her.
But she was equally fascinated by the lights, the cameras and the way in which everybody was hard at work including her mother who was an actress."
"Even as a child the wobbly sets amused her but she could see on the screens the magic being woven in that studio creating dreams for so many people. Yesterday that same little girl arrived at the Aiwan-e-Sadr holding tightly on to her mother’s hand equally bemused by her surroundings.
That girl knows that she is blessed to be there receiving such a prestigious honour in the company of such distinguished people following in the footsteps of so many legends, so many of her own heroes.
At heart she remains that simple little girl from Karachi who has been fortunate to live her dreams.
Her journey from that PTV studio to the Awan-e-Sadr has been a long one and by no means the easiest. But never in her wildest dreams did she see this recognition coming at such a tender age. Nor did she see the role she would go on to play in the revival of Pakistani Cinema and her contribution being acknowledged in this way," she added.
Mehwish thanked the government of Pakistan and the president for bestowing this honour upon her and "making the dream of that little girl come true".
"Today, I share this with all the other girls in Pakistan who have a dream, to them I simply say, 'Hope lies in dreams, in imagination, and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams turn into reality'.
Thank you also to all my family, friends and colleagues who have shared this wondrous journey and above all to all the fans who have supported me each step of the way and made me worthy of this award!" she said.