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Bhutto posthumously awarded peace prize

DUBLIN, Jan 1 (KUNA) — Slain Pakistani politician Benazir Bhutto is to posthumously receive the 2007 Tipperary Peace Prize, it was announced here Tuesday.

The award was founded in 1984 to recognize people who promote peace in Ireland and abroad.Tipperary is a major county in the Irish Republic.

Bhutto, who was assassinated on December 27 after addressing a rally in Rawalpindi, is being honored for her courageous work on democracy and reconciliation in her country.

Speaking on World Day of Peace, the Tipperary Peace Convention said the accolade would be presented to a member of the politician’s family in Tipperary in April.

“Ms Bhutto was an incredibly brave and courageous woman who had returned from exile to her homeland to lead her party in the forthcoming elections,” Spokesman Martin Quinn said.

“She knew the risks involved in her return but she did so because she felt that her country and the Pakistani people needed her.

“Ms Bhutto fought all her battles through dialogue and political debate and was an example to all those who do not use or surrender to terrorism.

” 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,” he added.

The award will be presented during the International Festival of Peace in Tipperary Town, Ireland in April 2008.

The Convention committee chose Bhutto after considering nominations received from members of the public.

The shortlist included Hollywood actor George Clooney for his work on Darfur, Northern Ireland First Minister Ian Paisley, former Nobel Prize winner Shirin Ibadi and Indian spiritual teacher Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
Previous winners include former South African President Nelson Mandela, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, the pop singer and campaigner against poverty in Africa, Bob Geldof, Bill Clinton and assassinated Lebanese premier Rafiq Hariri.