Benazir posthumously awarded Tipperary International Peace Award

April 27th, 2008 - 2:39 pm ICT by admin  

Benazir Bhutto

London , Apr.27 (ANI): Former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has been posthumously awarded the prestigious Tipperary International Peace Award 2007 in an impressive ceremony in the southwestern Irish town of Tipperary .

Bhuttos long-time associate Bashir Riaz received the award on behalf of her family from Ireland s Minister of State for Health and Children Maire Hoctor.

An emotional Riaz said that he had been asked to receive the award by Benazirs husband Asif Zardari as, in his own words, this would make her (Benazirs) soul happy.

Its a matter of pride that Benazir Bhutto has been given this award, but it makes us all sad that she is not here to receive the award herself, Riaz said.

Benazirs relentless struggle for the restoration of democracy and peace convinced the Tipperary Peace Committee to decide the award in her favour, said the committees secretary, Martin Quinn, while announcing the award.

In her the world has lost a big leader. Benazir worked tirelessly to bring stability to her country and she was one of the biggest leaders that we had seen in a long time, he added.

Previous recipients of the award have been, former South African president Nelson Mandela, former Soviet Union president Mikhail Gorbachev, former US president Bill Clinton, US Senator George Mitchell, and the late Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

Messages sent by Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani were also read out on the occasion. Both said it was a matter of pride and inspiration for the people of Pakistan that Benazirs name had been included in the prestigious list.

Pakistan s High Commissioner-designate to the UK Wajid Shamsul Hassan was visibly emotional when he recalled that Benazir never gave up hope for the betterment of people in Pakistan . (ANI)

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