Paying tribute to former prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s contribution to the promotion of democracy and women’s rights, a prestigious American institution – the Louise T Blouin Foundation – posthumously conferred its top award on the acclaimed leader. Benazir’s aunt, Behjet Hariri, received the award in the presence of President Asif Ali Zardari. A distinguished gathering of writers, artists, diplomats and business leaders expressed its appreciation for the slain leader with a prolonged standing ovation. Nobel laureate Eric Kandel, who announced the ‘Global Creative Leadership’ award, cited Benazir’s courageous and inspiring leadership “in the face of heavy odds”. “It is through our memory of Benazir that she will live on forever as a symbol of an extraordinary leader, who combined great curiosity and intellect with determination and courage, perseverance and courage ... she was the first woman to serve as prime minister of an Islamic country,” said Kandel.