Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto is returning to Pakistan after 8 years in exile. I believe that her return has been in the works for weeks, if not months. President Musharraf is trying desperately to hold onto power in Pakistan and he has been trying to come to an agreement on a power sharing deal with ex Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto will return to Pakistan from an eight-year exile on Oct. 18, her party said Friday. The government said she was free to come back but would have to face corruption cases against her.
Makhdoom Amin Fahim, vice president of Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party, announced the date at a press conference and said that Bhutto would fly back to Karachi. Supporters, throwing flower petals over assembled party leaders, chanted: “Long Live Benazir! Prime Minister Benazir!”
“The people of Pakistan will get real democracy” after Bhutto’s return, Fahim said, speaking in front of a huge portrait of the party leader.
Bhutto left in 1999 amid corruption charges, that she will still have to face upon her return to Pakistan. Just last week, another ex Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, tried to return to Pakistan, but, he was deported within hours. Although, this situation is different.
In an interview Friday, Deputy Information Minister Tariq Azim drew a clear distinction between the rights of Sharif and Bhutto to return to Pakistan.
“Nawaz Sharif’s case was different. He went back to Saudi Arabia because of an undertaking he had with the Saudi government,” Azim told The Associated Press. “She (Bhutto) was always allowed to come back.”
President Musharraf is trying to run for another 5 year term, but, there are legal obstacles to overcome. This is why he is trying to make a deal with Bhutto. Pakistan is a key U.S ally and having Musharraf in power is key to regional stability. Pakistan cannot be over taken by Islamic Extremists. Could you imagine Pakistan as an Islamist state? They would hand over the keys to their nuclear arsenal to Osama bin Laden in about two minutes. Obviously, that cannot happen. Pakistan is not a perfect ally, but, the alternative is just too scary to even imagine.