Irish peace prize for Benazir Bhutto

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Islamabad, Jan 2 (UNI) Assassinated former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto will be posthumously awarded Ireland's 2007 Tipperary Peace Prize, the organisers said.

''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,'' the News quoted a statement by Tipperary Peace Convention as saying.

Benazir Bhutto was recognised for her ''courageous'' work for democracy and reconciliation, the statement said.

''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,'' it added.

The Convention said the accolade was to ''recognise the very difficult path towards peace and democracy in Pakistan and the ultimate sacrifice made by Ms Bhutto in her campaign to put her country back on the road to democracy''.

''Ms 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 award was founded in 1984 with the principal aim of giving recognition to those who promote the ideals of peace and peaceful co-operation in Ireland and abroad.

Past recipients include former South African president Mandela, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, former US president Bill Clinton, Live-Aid oraniser Bob Geldof and former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.

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

UNI XC YA RAI0935

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