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Irish peace prize for Benazir Bhutto
H S Rao in London | January 01, 2008 21:49 IST
Slain Pakistani leader Benazir Bhutto [Images] has been chosen for Ireland's 2007 Tipperary Peace Prize for her 'courageous' work to promote democracy and reconciliation in her trouble-torn country.
Speaking on the World Day of Peace, the Tipperary Peace Convention on Tuesday said the accolade will be presented to a member of the former Pakistan premier's family in Tipperary Town in April.
The Tipperary Peace Award was founded in 1984 to recognise people who promote peace in Ireland and abroad. Previous recipients of the award include former South African President Nelson Mandela, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, singer Bob Geldoff, former US President Bill Clinton [Images] and assassinated Lebanese premier Rafic Hariri.
Bhutto, who is being honoured for her 'courageous' work for democracy and reconciliation, 'fought all her battles through dialogue and political debate and was an example to all those who do not use or surrender to terrorism,' Martin Quinn, its spokesman said.
"Her selection as Peace Prize recipient should act as an inspiration to those in Pakistan who seek to secure democracy and reconciliation for their country."
"The award will be presented during the International Festival of Peace in Tipperary Town in April this year," the spokesman said.
The Tipperary Peace Convention said the accolade was to 'recognise the very difficult path towards peace and democracy in Pakistan and the ultimate sacrifice made by Bhutto in her campaign to put her country back on the road to democracy."
"Bhutto, a former two-time prime Minister, was an incredibly brave and courageous woman who had returned from exile to her homeland to lead her party in the forthcoming elections. She knew the risks involved in her return but she did so because she felt that her country and the Pakistani people needed her."
The Convention committee chose Bhutto after considering nominations received from members of the public.
The shortlist included Indian spiritual teacher Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Hollywood actor George Clooney [Images] for his work on Darfur, Northern Ireland First Minister Rev Ian Paisley, and former Nobel Prize [Images] winner Shirin Ibadi.